Church groups seek dismissal of sex abuse lawsuit - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Church groups seek dismissal of sex abuse lawsuit

Suit alleges failure to protect kids from sexual predator

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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2012 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Attorneys for Pastor Robert "Bob" Davis of North Country Chapel in Post Falls and the California-based parent church Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa asked a judge Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them alleging a failure to protect children from a sexual predator.

The lawsuit, filed in August 2011 in 1st District Court, names four men as plaintiffs who said they were sexually abused as teenagers in 2000 to 2003 by a man who was known to have targeted boys in the past.

The lawsuit names the perpetrator as Anthony L. Iglesias, who is currently being held in a Boise prison because of convictions in Kootenai County for lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor. Iglesias was in his early 20s when he allegedly had sexual contact with the four boys. The alleged victims today are in their early 20s.

A separate and previous lawsuit names North Country Chapel and Calvary Rathdrum as defendants, saying Iglesias provided youth services for both institutions while targeting the boys. That case is pending.

Also named in the newer lawsuit, and asking the court for dismissal, is Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship, which like Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa is based in Santa Ana, Calif. Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship affiliates new pastors and churches to the Calvary Chapel family of churches.

District Court Judge Benjamin Simpson didn't rule on the requests for dismissal following arguments from the defendants' attorneys and Coeur d'Alene attorney Leander James, who represents the four alleged victims in the two church cases.

Pastor Bob Davis' attorney, Virginia McNulty Robinson, called allegations "absurd" that Davis withheld Iglesias' criminal sexual past from members of North Country Chapel while Iglesias was working in the church's youth ministry.

The lawsuit said Iglesias had been charged as a teenage juvenile in California with having sexual contact with a younger boy. It said he was removed from youth ministry for a Calvary Chapel church in Diamond Bar, Calif., at the time due to that charge.

It also said he had sexual contact with multiple underage teenage boys while working as an adult missionary in Thailand.

Attorney Randall Adams, representing Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship, said, "The plaintiffs are stretching to keep the deep pockets in this lawsuit."

Adams said there is no evidence of a connection between his client or Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the four alleged victims or Iglesias. He said the two don't operate in Idaho, and had no information about Iglesias' past before the alleged abuse of the four boys.

Adams also said the alleged victims brought their claims too late.

James blamed the defendants' actions for the delay in filing the lawsuit.

James said the lawsuit is about protecting children and holding people accountable who don't.

He said Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and Outreach Fellowship and Pastor Davis had a policy and practice described as "restoration," in which they help people like Iglesias turn their lives around.

James said forgiving others is fine, but letting people like Iglesias who commit crimes work in youth ministry is negligent and puts children at risk. Not telling parents of Iglesias' work at the church is concealment, he said.

Adams said, "Mr. James has a distorted definition of restoration."

Robinson said there is no evidence that Davis preached restoration or supported the policy.

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4 comments:

  • Kirsty posted at 2:36 am on Sun, Sep 9, 2012.

    Kirsty Posts: 20

    I don't know how things like this happen: today we have the hottest Newcastle strippers which everybody can go and see. I mean, why should you resort to an action that could get you in jail? That is not very smart.

     
  • AlexGrenier posted at 11:33 am on Sat, Jun 23, 2012.

    AlexGrenier Posts: 2

    You can learn much more about Calvary Chapel's abuse issues here: http://www.CalvaryChapelNews.com and http://www.CalvaryChapelAbuse.com

     
  • AlexGrenier posted at 11:33 am on Sat, Jun 23, 2012.

    AlexGrenier Posts: 2

    Unfortunately, Calvary Chapel has a history of child abuse and molestation and covering it up and claiming "no responsibility". Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa owns the name, logo and rights to "Calvary Chapel" and uses CCOF as its Licensing Arm of which Chuck Smith, the founder of Calvary Chapel, is listed as "president" of CCOF and CC Costa Mesa per IRS docs. The reality is, Calvary Chapel pastors and employs get credibility and trust (and are Positions of Trust) from the Parent Church and leader Chuck Smith and CC Costa Mesa. Calvary Chapel shuns its responsibility to provide a safe environment for children System-wide and hides behind half truths and lies and lawyers to try and dodge their responsibility to help protect kids in their Church Organization.

     
  • voxpop posted at 5:14 am on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    This is the same bull that the Catholic church tried to use to hide their culpability. Anyone who gives a nickel to this church has their head where the sun doesn't shine.

     
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