1
   

Church to Punish Girls who Sued Over Sex Abuse by Outing Them

 
 
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 09:31 am
The girls were both younger than 14 years old when they were sexually attacked.
By Travis Gettys / Raw Story
July 2, 2016

http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/young-girl-hides-her-face-behind-a-sweater-shutterstock-800x430.png

A Kansas church is asking a court to help punish two girls who sued over sexual abuse by a former vacation Bible school volunteer.

Kessler Lichtenegger, a former volunteer at Westside Family Church, pleaded guilty last year to attempted rape and attempted electronic solicitation involving two girls who attended the church.

The girls, who were both younger than 14 years old, and their families filed a lawsuit June 9 that alleges church officials knew about Lichtenegger’s extensive past sexual conduct and crimes involving children.

Officials at the Southern Baptist church denied knowledge of those previous juvenile convictions, but admittedly knew they should pay close attention to Lichtenegger, who was 17 years old when he volunteered for the summer Bible school in 2014 and assaulted one of the girls in the parking lot.
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However, the lawsuit accuses church officials of ignoring their own protocols and allowing Lichtenegger to be around children outside of his father’s supervision.

The lawsuit, and its timing, apparently angered church officials — who have taken the unprecedented step of asking a judge to publicly identify the underage victims of sex abuse.

The church filed a petition June 15 asking the court to require the two teenage sisters and their parents to identify themselves publicly before their lawsuit may proceed.

Church officials accused the family of launching “a Pearl Harbor-styled barrage of negative publicity” timed to coincide with the start of this year’s vacation Bible school.

The petition grumbles that the girls and their parents had leaked their complaint to the media before serving notice of the lawsuit to the congregation.

“While the Defendant admits the sensitivity of the allegations, Plaintiffs tactically decided to ‘draw first blood’ on the issue publicly,” the church’s petition says. “In time, that may ultimately be seen in hindsight to be a bad decision. However, they should not be able to hide behind pseudonyms after systematically and intentionally initiating a campaign specifically designed to damage Defendant’s reputation.”

The petition is highly unusual, said a veteran survivors advocate.

“This has happened in a relatively small number of cases involving adults, but I’ve never seen a defendant try to ‘out’ kids who are still kids in a child sex case,” said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Clohessy, who has worked for 28 years as a victims advocate, and his organization showed up at the church June 8 with protest signs to answer questions from the media, which the group often does.

He told Baptist Global News that the church’s legal attack against the child survivors would deter other child victims from coming forward and allow more predators to harm children.

“It will also rub more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of this suffering family,” Clohessy said. “It is a shameful move by officials who profess to be ‘Christians.’”

Lichtenegger is serving a 17-year sentence for the Westside vacation Bible school sex crimes, but the lawsuit says he also pleaded guilty in 2012 to a sexual assault the year before of a 15-year-old girl with developmental problems and to another previous sexual felony.

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story.
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 10:07 am
@bobsal u1553115,
I hate these stories. They get hot button topics to stir up the angry, and then the inaccuracies don't matter.

Did you read the other side of the story, Bobsal?
bobsal u1553115
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 10:19 am
@maxdancona,
Seriously: NSFW?

What about paying attention to this side of the story, max. Fourteen year old girls being slut shamed after being molested by adults in a church setting.

Molester whitewash, much?
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 11:14 am
@bobsal u1553115,
It is an honest question Bobsal. Did you make any effort to read the other side of the story?

Can you give me a 'yes' or 'no' answer please?
bobsal u1553115
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 10:44 pm
@maxdancona,
Its a bullshit question, max. Whats the other side of slut shaming women who were molested at 14 yrs old by religious figures in on church owned property during church sponsored events??????

Jebus told them to molest 14 year old girls? They've been forgiven for molesting 14 year old girls????

Why redeeming factor do you see in shaming these women? What's your enthusiasm for child molesters about????
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 10:48 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
You could have left out the last sentence.
bobsal u1553115
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 11:06 pm
@roger,
Only if max and I hadn't been over this territory before on rape threads.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jul, 2016 11:16 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
I don't know what you have seen, nor how you interpreted it, that is completely inappropriate.
bobsal u1553115
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2016 12:04 am
@roger,
We all have our opinions and I disagree with yours.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2016 06:29 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Quote:
Whats the other side of slut shaming women who were molested at 14 yrs old by religious figures in on church owned property during church sponsored events??????

Jebus told them to molest 14 year old girls? They've been forgiven for molesting 14 year old girls????

Why redeeming factor do you see in shaming these women? What's your enthusiasm for child molesters about????


You seem to have not even read the article you posted, Bobsal.

There is nothing in the article about religious figures molesting 14 year old girls. The volunteer (that is one person) who actually molested the girls at church is currently serving a prison in jail. There is no evidence that the leaders of the church disagree with his 17 year sentence.

And there is nothing in this story about Jesus telling anyone to molest girls. You made this up.
bobsal u1553115
 
  4  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2016 06:37 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
And there is nothing in this story about Jebus (or any other deity) telling anyone to molest girls.


You don't think these "Christians" thought on it, prayed on it and didn't use Jebus to justify their actions? The devil made them do it?

Quote:
There is no evidence that the leaders of the church disagree with his 17 year sentence.


Then why do they feel compelled to slut shame these women for the actions that happened by one of their vetted volunteers during a church program on church property? Why do you think this happened in a vacuum, just one of those things?????????
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2016 06:45 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Let's try this again. There was one molester. He is currently serving a 17 year sentence in jail. No one in this story is defending the molester. No one is arguing about this sentence. You are making up all the stuff about praying and Jesus and the Devil. There is nothing in the story about any of this other than your own prejudice.

If you want to understand the story, you could start by reading the facts in your own article which explain the story a little bit. If you really want to understand more, you could find the better written articles on what happened.

bobsal u1553115
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2016 06:47 am
@maxdancona,
Keep trying.

What nonjudgmental reason does the church have in identifying these women, especially if the church is so blameless as you claim?
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2016 06:53 am
@maxdancona,
Keep trying.

What nonjudgmental reason does the church have in identifying these women, especially if the church is so blameless as you claim?

Here's some quotes from the article you keep skipping over:


"A Kansas church is asking a court to help punish two girls who sued over sexual abuse by a former vacation Bible school volunteer.

Kessler Lichtenegger, a former volunteer at Westside Family Church, pleaded guilty last year to attempted rape and attempted electronic solicitation involving two girls who attended the church.

The girls, who were both younger than 14 years old, and their families filed a lawsuit June 9 that alleges church officials knew about Lichtenegger’s extensive past sexual conduct and crimes involving children.


Officials at the Southern Baptist church denied knowledge of those previous juvenile convictions, but admittedly knew they should pay close attention to Lichtenegger, who was 17 years old when he volunteered for the summer Bible school in 2014 and assaulted one of the girls in the parking lot.

However, the lawsuit accuses church officials of ignoring their own protocols and allowing Lichtenegger to be around children outside of his father’s supervision.

The lawsuit, and its timing, apparently angered church officials — who have taken the unprecedented step of asking a judge to publicly identify the underage victims of sex abuse.


The church filed a petition June 15 asking the court to require the two teenage sisters and their parents to identify themselves publicly before their lawsuit may proceed.

Church officials accused the family of launching “a Pearl Harbor-styled barrage of negative publicity” timed to coincide with the start of this year’s vacation Bible school.

The petition grumbles that the girls and their parents had leaked their complaint to the media before serving notice of the lawsuit to the congregation.

“While the Defendant admits the sensitivity of the allegations, Plaintiffs tactically decided to ‘draw first blood’ on the issue publicly,” the church’s petition says. “In time, that may ultimately be seen in hindsight to be a bad decision. However, they should not be able to hide behind pseudonyms after systematically and intentionally initiating a campaign specifically designed to damage Defendant’s reputation.”

The petition is highly unusual, said a veteran survivors advocate.

“This has happened in a relatively small number of cases involving adults, but I’ve never seen a defendant try to ‘out’ kids who are still kids in a child sex case,” said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.


Clohessy, who has worked for 28 years as a victims advocate, and his organization showed up at the church June 8 with protest signs to answer questions from the media, which the group often does.

He told Baptist Global News that the church’s legal attack against the child survivors would deter other child victims from coming forward and allow more predators to harm children.

“It will also rub more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of this suffering family,” Clohessy said. “It is a shameful move by officials who profess to be ‘Christians.’”

Lichtenegger is serving a 17-year sentence for the Westside vacation Bible school sex crimes, but the lawsuit says he also pleaded guilty in 2012 to a sexual assault the year before of a 15-year-old girl with developmental problems and to another previous sexual felony.

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2016 07:19 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Too many colors for me Bobsal. Could you highlight just the part where anyone claims that Jesus told religious leaders to molest children?

I haven't stated any opinion on whether I agree with the church or not on what is apparently a legal case to decide whether the church is liable for a crime committed in a camp they run.

I am simply stating that the article is poorly written to play to prejudice and that your blind rage is not fact-based.


bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2016 07:38 am
@maxdancona,
So your biggest complaint is red and blue.

The churches aggressiveness towards 14 year olds doesn't even register.

Screw the writing, how about the facts, that the church admits to?
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 4 Jul, 2016 07:41 am
@bobsal u1553115,
My biggest complaint is that you have made up this story about Jesus telling church leaders to molest children.

This narrative has nothing to do with the facts of a legal case about whether this church is liable for the fact that someone molested a child at a camp they run.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jul, 2016 06:36 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
My biggest complaint is that you have made up this story about Jesus telling church leaders to molest children.


Drinking again? Where did I ever make that statement???????

Quote:
This narrative has nothing to do with the facts of a legal case about whether this church is liable for the fact that someone molested a child at a camp they run.


Just because you choose to ignore it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Read the article one more time. The church even disagrees with your assessment of the facts.
0 Replies
 
 

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