Delay in California Clergy Abuse Trial Due to Coronavirus

In a July ruling, a California judge has delayed a court case involving the sexual abuse of two undisclosed plaintiffs, John R.R. Doe and John R.F. Doe. The cases will not proceed as scheduled in October, but instead will be rescheduled for March 2021. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Sotelo cites the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason. Disruption in the court system isn’t isolated to California. Recently the Diocese of Albany was flooded with sexual abuse lawsuits after a nearly three-month delay in courts due to the Coronavirus. The California delay nevertheless pushes back potential justice for what started several years ago.

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Brentwood California Police Department Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit for $1 Million

In May 2019, a sexual assault lawsuit was filed against a former Brentwood police officer. The claim alleged that the victim was raped by her superior officer in September 2017 at a Reno hotel during a conference they were attending for police training. In November 2017 the woman filed an internal claim with the Brentwood police department. However, at the time, she did not pursue criminal charges citing a ‘fear it would be too much to handle emotionally’. When the Brentwood police chief and captain were made aware, they opened a “supervisory inquiry” instead of an internal affairs investigation.

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Woman Sues Megachurch for $1 Million for Mishandling Her Sex Abuse Case

In recent news, an 18-year-old-woman has hired a sexual abuse lawyer and is suing The Village Church (TVC) in Texas for more than $1 million dollars. According to the lawsuit filing, the plaintiff was allegedly 11 years old when she was sexually molested by TVC employee Matthew Tonne while attending summer camp. To make matters worse, TVC handled the initial allegations by the plaintiff poorly. Matt Chandler, TVC’s pastor, was quoted as saying “[the unnamed sexual abuser did not currently have] access to member children of TVC” because Tonne technically no longer worked for TVC. Chandler was later quoted in an email to the TVC congregation saying that Tonne was leaving TVC due to an “alcohol abuse problem”. In other words, Tonne was not leaving TVC as a result of the sexual abuse lawsuit. Tonne also received a severance package from TVC upon departure.

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