Former PTL leader Jim Bakker pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges of diverting millions of dollars in donations from his followers and using the money to support his lavish lifestyle.
"I pleaded not guilty to all charges," Bakker said after the arraignment. "I am definitely not guilty of any charges in this indictment."Bakker made no comment during the hearing, but defense attorney George T. Davis asked U.S. Magistrate Paul Taylor to impose a gag order in the case.
Davis read parts of an interview published Jan. 2 in which retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Rufus Reynolds, who presided over the PTL bankruptcy case, called the founder of the religious broadcasting empire a "sawed-off little runt."
Davis also said Reynolds described Bakker as "a thief."