In Broward County, Florida, the aunt of a teenage girl who was sexually abused by her adoptive father is suing Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and its school. The Florida sex abuse lawsuit alleges that the church failed to protect the then-15-year-old girl from the sexual advances of Rodger Allen Thomas, who would visit her at the Calvary Christian Academy. The girl’s aunt is asking for $3 million in damages.
Church officials say they did not know the abuse was taking place until Thomas was arrested. They say that the lawsuit is the first time they were aware that any abuse incidents occurred at the academy. The church pastoral service reportedly tried to help the girl but she denied the abuse was taking place.
The girl’s aunt, who is her temporary guardian, says that the teenager’s stepfather had told the church that he had concerns about the adoptive father’s treatment of the girl. He says he went to academy officials after he found the girl in Thomas’s bed.
The girl’s aunt says that the church was negligent because it opted to handle the case “in house” rather than involving the Florida police.
Thomas is a church member. Thomas, his wife, the girl’s stepfather, and her stepfather’s fiancé are all employed by the church. The four of them had been battling for custody of the girl.
Thomas was arrested in 2006 for sexually abusing her. He pleaded no contest to three counts of sexual battery and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
If you or someone you love is the victim of sexual abuse, do not hesitate to contact our South Florida personal injury law firm right away. Our Ft. Lauderdale sexual abuse lawyers have the experience and resources to successfully pursue a sexual abuse claim or lawsuit against the negligent party or parties responsible for your pain and suffering.
There may even be third parties, such as a premise owner who did not take the proper measures to prevent the sexual abuse from happening, that can be held liable for your injuries.
Fort Lauderdale church denies fault in lawsuit that alleges sex abuse of girl on campus, Sun-Sentinel, May 18, 2008
Abuse Tracker, Bishopaccountability.org
Related Web Resource: