IL-- New “alarming” clergy sex abuse suit filed
New “alarming” clergy sex abuse suit filed
It says minister repeatedly sexually assaulted congregant
Pastor called accuser “a witch” and “a prostitute”
He allegedly excommunicated her and her family when she wouldn’t submit to his assaults
His son reportedly witnessed one attack, lawsuit charges
Support group urges others with info to “come forward, get help”
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will disclose that a new lawsuit has been filed against a Chicago area minister and two church groups. It charges that
--the cleric repeatedly sexually assaulted and defamed the alleged victim, kicked her out of the church and urged others in the flock to persuade her to keep quiet, and
--two church groups knew of but refused to prevent or stop the alleged crimes.
They will also urge that
--the abusive minister be immediately suspended, and
--anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups by these or other Pentecostal officials tocall the independent sources of help like police, prosecutors, therapists or support groups.
TOMORROW, Thursday, Dec. 15 at 1:15 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside Richard J. Daley Courthouse at 50 W Washington by the corner of Randolph and Clark
A Kane County woman charges that an Elgin minister abused her, he and his wife defamed her, and that two church organizations knew or should have known about the alleged crimes and prevented or stopped them, according to a newly-filed civil lawsuit.
Starting in March, Jane Doe says that Rev. Manfred Malagon sent her texts with “offensive images (including monkey and dog genitalia and a woman with her breasts and buttocks exposed,” “asked her to send him a (nude) photo and video of her,” “offered to send her a picture of himself nude,” repeatedly “kissed, hugged and fondled her breasts,” said he “could not stop thinking about her (and) wanted to ‘make love’ to her ‘again and again,’ and “instructed (her) to leave her husband.”
She also says that “Malagon’s son and his son’s girlfriend witnessed Malagon sexually assaulting her.”
In May, Malagon reportedly excommunicated Doe and her family from the church but continued to send her “lewd and lascivious” texts, later urging her to delete them.
Weeks later, to church staff, “Malagon claimed that Doe “had been trying to engage in sexual relations with him.” In that meeting and a later sermon to the congregation, Malagon claimed she “was a ‘prostitute’ and a ‘witch.’”
Around September, Malagon falsely told church members that Doe had “sexually imposed” herself on him,” and “had engaged in sexual relations with her husband’s sister,” and “instructed church members to go to Doe’s home and “convince her” not to publically confront Malagon or church officials about Malagon’s actions, the suit says, and also threatened her that he would have her sister deported from the US if she reported his misdeeds.
For seven months, she reportedly told Malagon “to stop his verbal and sexual harassment (and) offensive touching” with little or no results. In June, the suit says, Doe told another pastor and Malagon’s supervisor, Bishop Ricardo Gonzalez, about the abuse but neither intervened to stop it. Gonzalez and other church officials, the suit says, “knew that Malagon had engaged in verbal and/or physical harassment and/or sexual assault of other church members” earlier.
Besides Malagon and his wife, other defendants in the case are the International Christian Fellowship and United Pentecostal Church International. The UPCI is an umbrella church organization of the Pentecostal denomination which purportedly has three million parishioners worldwide. It is the “supervising entity of ICF” and the two organizations “operate a number of churches,” including one at Standish Street in Elgin, according to the suit.
Doe was a member of Malagon’s Elgin church from 2008 until May 2016.
Doe lives in Kane County. The Malagons lived/e in Streamwood in Cook County. The ICF is based in Brookfield, Illinois and the UPCI is based in St. Louis, Missouri.
The suit, which seeks a jury trial and damages of at least $50,000, was filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The nine count lawsuit charges both institutions – the ICF and the UPCI - with negligent supervision and retention and charges both Malagons with defamation. Rev. Malagon is also accused of assault, battery and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org
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