A California businessman who took up Jessica Hahn's case said yesterday that she wept when she told him for the first time the story of her December 1980 sexual encounter with evangelist Jim Bakker.

"She was sobbing," said Paul Roper. "She kept bowing her head when she got embarrassed so she wouldn't have to look me in the eye."

It was 1984, said Roper, 43, when he first learned about Hahn's plight from a friend. Roper is a founder of Operation Anti-Christ, a self-styled group of spiritual vigilantes that includes clergy, lawyers and businessmen determined to purge the ministry of charlatans.

Roper said he flew to New York to meet her and on Jan. 3, 1985, taped a 2 1/2-hour account of her afternoon with Bakker and fellow evangelist John Wesley Fletcher in a Florida hotel room. Threatening a lawsuit against Bakker, which was never filed, he arranged a $265,000 settlement with PTL officials that included a $150,000 trust fund for Hahn in return for her silence. Bakker's then second in command, the Rev. Richard Dortch, helped negotiate the settlement.

But now, Roper said, Bakker has broken silence by claiming he was taken advantage of by a woman he has since branded a "professional who knew every trick of the trade." When Bakker resigned his multimillion-dollar PTL ministry last month blaming "treacherous former friends" for "conspiring" to lure him into the encounter, he said the incident with Hahn did not involve sexual assault.

Roper said that as he understood Hahn, "Jim Bakker never forced her to do anything, {but} her will was overcome by ... the wine," or the aura of two powerful evangelists she respected.

Roper said he aims to launch a blitz to tell Hahn's side of a story that has humiliated her.

"It's too emotionally traumatic for her to stand up and defend herself," he said. "She's up against an organization with unlimited money, a TV show with unlimited air time and loyal followers, who can tell their version in such a way as to make themselves look like the victim rather than the perpetrator. I'm just trying to set the record straight."

"She was laid, relayed and parlayed," said Hahn's New York lawyer, Stanley Siegel.

Roper arrived here late yesterday from Los Angeles to attend an interview with Hahn, who bowed out at the last minute. So Roper pitched her side of a saga that has raised questions about sex, sin and salvation behind the television pulpits of America, wounded a popular TV ministry and shaken the world of media evangelism to its roots.

Shown a signed 31-page statement of her account of the incident, Roper yesterday confirmed its authenticity, saying it was the statement he took from Hahn in 1985. He also said PTL, which stands for "Praise the Lord" or "People That Love," has halted the monthly payments Hahn has been receiving from her settlement.

Asked why Hahn never filed a lawsuit, Roper said she had feared the humiliation of telling her story in open court and understood the only recourse would be financial. So she agreed to the private settlement.

By her account, Jessica Hahn was wide-eyed and trusting, a church secretary of 20, daughter of a Long Island policeman, a gospel groupie of sorts who in late 1980 accepted an invitation to attend a Bakker Florida telethon. She said she had no idea what awaited her in Room 538 of the Sheraton Sand Key Hotel in Clearwater Beach.

It was there, she said, that she lost her virginity to a man she once admired, who that afternoon "just did everything a man could do to a woman."

Her story has trickled out over the last few weeks, and copies of her account are now said to be under review by presbyters of the Assemblies of God church as they weigh the alleged infractions of Bakker, who resigned and turned over his PTL empire to evangelist Jerry Falwell after admitting his transgression. (Yesterday, in Dunn, N.C., state Assemblies of God leaders emerged from a 10-hour closed meeting refusing to say what action against Bakker, 47, will be recommended to their national board. Action against Dortch, 55, Bakker's successor as PTL president, was also on the agenda.)

Recently, television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart said that hearing Hahn's confession "would make you very angry." Hahn has said that such emerging details make "the victim twice the victim."

But supporters have urged Hahn to fight back, beyond her brief remarks to reporters waiting outside her West Babylon, N.Y., home. So far she has declined. Roper yesterday said she could not be reached for comment.

But Hahn, in her 1985 statement, recounts the incident and its aftermath this way:

It was December 1980 when John Wesley Fletcher, later defrocked as an Assemblies of God minister for drinking, invited her to accompany the Fletcher family to Florida, where he was cohosting a telethon with Bakker.

Once a baby sitter for Fletcher's children during his visits to Massapequa, N.Y., for revivals, she had grown up by the time she met him again after a church meeting in February 1980. One remark surprised her. "He told me how good I looked, how he couldn't believe how I changed," she said.

Then, 10 months later, came the invitation to the Bakker telethon. Why did he invite her? "I believed it was because I had watched {baby-sat} his son, knew his family ... constantly watched Jim Bakker's show ... saw John on the show and knew many of the people on the show."

She accepted the offer. "I thought I would enjoy meeting the people and watching the filming" of the telethon. A prepaid ticket was waiting at LaGuardia. Fletcher was waiting at Tampa International Airport.

They drove directly to the hotel, and on the way she was informed by Fletcher that Bakker "was having a problem with his wife. They were going through a separation and she was in California."

Hahn said she wondered why Fletcher was telling her details of the Bakkers' private lives. "I really didn't understand," she said. She figured Fletcher was trying to impress her with his close connection to someone she admired: " 'Right now,' he said, 'Jim was very down. He is having a hard time. He has no sexual life with his wife whatsoever.' "

Bakker, she learned, believed his wife was having an affair with country musician Gary Paxton. Paxton and Tammy Faye Bakker have denied their relationship was sexual.

Bakker was "devastated," she said Fletcher told her. " 'He had nothing, he didn't feel like a man.' " Fletcher instructed her to "walk into the hotel behind him," she said. " 'This way, people won't get the wrong idea.' " They breezed past the front desk. Fletcher already had a key. He was carrying her bags. They took an elevator to the fifth floor and she began "fussing with the closet" in the room. She was struggling to open the doors.

Suddenly, she said, Fletcher thrust a glass of wine into her hand. "He told me to stop and drink the wine and I would relax," she said. "For whatever reason, I guess he thought I needed to relax. I took the wine, and I just drank it."

He escorted her onto the balcony. Down below was Bakker, lounging by the pool with daughter Tammy Sue. A band was playing at poolside.

Bakker glanced up and began walking toward the hotel. "Then John ... said, 'Look, I'm going to go, you can freshen up.' So I jumped in the shower, put back on the dress I had on. No sooner was I dressed then John came back with Jim alone. Jim had on a white terry cloth bathing suit, sand, and everything else. We met eye to eye. We must both be about 5 foot 4. And he just said, 'I didn't know women from New York were so beautiful.' " She asked him where his daughter was. " 'Oh, she's with my bodyguards,' " she said Bakker told her.

Was she uneasy in this situation? "Yes, we were alone. I was feeling sick." Suddenly she was overcome by a wave of nausea. "I thought it was because I hadn't eaten. I was in a daze.

"I kept telling them I didn't feel good. They just said, 'Don't worry, you'll be fine. You're just tired . . .' A lot of what they were saying didn't make sense . . ."

Bakker, she said, was acting "very hyper. He was rubbing his thighs a lot, like let's get down to business. John was rubbing his hands together. They were kidding and joking with each other. {Then Bakker} got very tranquil for a moment, like he does on TV when he cries, and told me he didn't know how he was going to make it. Meanwhile John is telling Jim, 'Tell her, tell her what your problems are, maybe she can help you.' "

Hahn said she felt like shouting. "I wanted to say, 'I can't help. I don't even know this man. {But} what was in my head wouldn't come out of my mouth. By then, if John {Fletcher} had told me to stand out on the terrace and jump, I probably would have done it. That's how I felt."

Bakker was complaining: about his problems with the Federal Communications Commission, she said. But she remembered him saying that the " 'biggest problem of all is Tammy is not with me. She has made me feel very belittled. I don't know how I will come out of it. I don't feel like a man. I feel like I don't amount to anything.' He said sexually he wasn't satisfied with her and she wasn't satisfied with him."

Fletcher knocked on the door, she said, and handed her a bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion. " 'Jim likes back rubs,' " she said he advised. "I kept that little yellow bottle all these years."

Bakker, she said, told her, " 'I really do need to know I'm somebody.' He started pulling me close to him and said, 'I really do need somebody. I've been going through hell.'

"... I wanted not to believe it. I told him I had never been with a man ... I knew something was taking place, but I didn't feel in control of the situation.

"The first thing he did was pull off the bedspread. I remember him saying, 'I hate bedspreads.' He pulled me over to him and said, 'I really think you can help me' . . .

"I kept trying to push him away. I said, 'Why don't you just hire somebody,' those were my words exactly . . . He said, 'You can't trust everybody.' "

Hahn then detailed an encounter that she said "didn't stop for what seemed like an hour and a half . . . I just couldn't stand him. I just wanted to pull out his hair." Afterward, he used her hairbrush to straighten up, she recalled, and said, "Look, I'll see ya."

She climbed into the shower and threw up.

Fletcher returned, she said, and told her, " 'Jim is crying, he is in a fetal position in his room.' I asked, 'Why is that?' and John said, 'Well, he just can't believe how happy he is, how much you helped him.'

"I just wanted to pound on John. 'Why didn't you tell me what you were planning? Why didn't you tell me what you were doing?' John said, 'Just think how many people you're helping. He is a shepherd, and when you help the shepherd you help the sheep.' "

Fletcher, she said, then sought to have sex with her. "He said, 'Well, it wouldn't be fair, would it, being I made all the arrangements for Jim and then you left me out.' "

Fletcher, she said, "had a look on his face that to me looked like the Devil." She remembered that after she had sex with the other evangelist, Fletcher left. It was 4 p.m., and she recalled that he told her: " 'I've got to get ready for the show. I've got to preach tonight. Jim and I are going to preach and do the telethon together.' "

Later, lying in the hotel bed, hungry and cold, she flipped on Bakker's telethon.

"I . . . heard John say to Jim Bakker, 'You had a good rest today,' and Jim answered, 'Ya, I need more rest like that.' John then added, 'The Lord really ministered to us today, we need more ministry like that.' I felt like they were making fun of me right on television."

She said she couldn't wait to leave; Fletcher later handed her money for a ticket home. "This is what he said -- 'So I'll be in touch with you. Thanks a lot.' "

Back home, she said she sank into depression, lost 20 pounds, visited a psychiatrist. "I have been nervous, upset, emotional," she said.

The Bakkers are in seclusion in Palm Springs, Calif. PTL officials, asked about Hahn's statement, declined to comment. Fletcher, 47, has acknowledged introducing Hahn and Bakker, but could not be reached to comment on Hahn's statement.

Bakker called her at home a few days after their encounter "to ask me to forgive him," Hahn said.

"He asked for my assurance that I wouldn't talk, because he said he had a lot to lose, and a big responsibility. He told me I would be accountable to God if I caused trouble. Jim said he would pray for me."

She was given code names to use when returning phone calls to PTL, she said. And she was pressured to sign what she described as a three-page document that "accused me of extortion, and defamation {that} ... said that Jim Bakker never touched me ... It made me feel like I was accused of raping them and then stealing their money."

Three years ago, Hahn said, she met with Richard Dortch and a PTL board member, the Rev. Amy Cortese, at the Holiday Inn near LaGuardia Airport. Dortch, she said, told her that Fletcher "was starting trouble."

A year after the hotel encounter, Fletcher was expelled from the ministry for the unrelated problem of alcohol, said church officials.

Cortese, she said, told her, " 'Sign the papers, or you will never have any peace.' Then she started to cry ... and said, 'Jessica, I love you like my daughter . . . I'll deny these papers to my grave. I know they're not true.' "

Hahn signed, and later said she was rebuffed by Cortese when she asked for them back. Cortese, reached by telephone earlier this week, declined comment.

Dortch, she said, warned her that if she didn't sign papers absolving Bakker of his tryst, the evangelist might kill himself: "Would I want Jim to put a gun to his head . . . In other words, if Bakker committed suicide I would be responsible for it.

"He said I should sign and it will help everyone all the way around. He said Jim was building a hotel and they wouldn't want anything to stop that work of the Lord."