Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Family sues church, pastor for allegedly harboring a pedophile

Family sues church, pastor for allegedly harboring a pedophile
Convicted child molester, Jeffery Waisner faces civil trial
By Jon Brines Gold Country News Service

Jeffery Waisner

The family of a 14-year-old Loomis girl molested by a youth pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Rocklin are now suing him and the church for allowing the abuse to occur.

The church is also known as Rocklin Foursquare Church and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel based in Los Angeles.

The 13-page complaint filed earlier this month seeks punitive damages for sexual abuse of a child, sexual battery, gross negligence, breach of fiduciary duty. They also want reimbursement for medical care and lost earnings.

In April, Jeffery Waisner, 33 of Lincoln, was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child stemming from a nearly six-month affair with the girl who was a part of his Friday night youth group. According to court documents, Waisner performed oral sex, intercourse and fondled her during incidents at his home, on trips with the church and at the church in Rocklin.

The attorney for the family alleges the national church covered up problems of sexual abuse with minors by appointed leaders and engaged in a systematic pattern, which included compiling a secret archival file regarding sexual abuse by other church leaders in other states. The complaint alleges, the governing body of the church was harboring alleged predator pedophiles who would continue to sexually molest children using their leadership position to gain access to the victims.

The Rocklin church advertises its youth group meetings as “a safe place for your teens.” The family alleges the church “prohibited” victims “from warning others or speaking about the matter to anyone,” for fear of threats and “severe sanctions.” The family also accuses the church of negligence for not reporting known abuses to police and refusing to remove such leaders.

David Overstreet the attorney representing the church refused to comment on the specifics of the case during litigation. However he did issue a statement.

“There are different versions of what happened here,” Overstreet said. “The church does have procedures to protect children and it cooperated with authorities during the investigation.”

The Loomis victim, who will not be identified to protect her, has since moved away from the area.

At Waisner’s sentencing in April, the victim’s mother said the girl said Waisner told her he was going to leave his wife and three children to be with her and that she still believes it.

According to court documents, Waisner was caught with the victim after being pulled over by a California Highway Patrol in the middle of the night. She had allegedly snuck out of the house to see him. The officer became suspicious when Waisner allegedly told the officer, “It was OK because he was her youth pastor.”

During one month of the alleged affair, the girl reportedly received more than 4,000 text messages from Waisner.

Attorneys for Waisner could not be reached for comment.

A trial date has not yet been set.

A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 30 in Placer County Superior Court.

No comments: