Three victims are among eight who have filed civil lawsuits against the Lutheran church for abuse committed by Pastor Frank Brundige
(Los Angeles, CA) Three victims of child sexual abuse committed by Lutheran Pastor Frank Brundige filed lawsuits today detailing abuse committed by Brundige from 1990 until 2007 when he was arrested and convicted of molesting children. The lawsuits describe multiple complaints and warnings about Brundige abusing children that were ignored by Lutheran Church officials. The lawsuits also detail concerted efforts engaged in by Lutheran Church officials to silence victims and witnesses.
Frank Brundige was the Pastor from 1989 until 2007 of Iglesia Luterana San Pedro Y Pablo, an immigrant Hispanic Lutheran Church in Bell Gardens. Eight children, now young men, have filed civil lawsuits alleging Pastor Frank Brundige sexually molested them as children starting almost immediately after he arrived at the Bell Gardens church.
Anthony DeMarco, a Los Angeles-based attorney affiliated with Jeff Anderson & Associates who are attorneys for the plaintiffs, pointed out that church officials received complaints of Pastor Frank Brundige’s abuse of a child as early as 1991, and said “at one point when the church officials were informed that Brundige abused the boy, a church supervisor convened a meeting and convinced the boy’s parents to accept Brundige’s apology and take no further action. In 1995, when a church board member actually witnessed Brundige fondle the genitals of a child, no report was made, no investigation followed, and no action was taken against the pastor. And, in 2007, when police were investigating claims of sexual abuse of children by Pastor Brundige, church officials visited the homes of boys who had been abused and asked that they recant the abuse in order to protect both Brundige and the church.”
The new lawsuits allege that Pastor Frank Brundige was sexually abusing the three plaintiffs when they were minor children at various times starting in 1990 and ending in 2007. Now 32, 20, and 19 years old, the three men, named as Juan Doe 2, 3, and 4 in the complaints, claim that as early as 1991 Church officials knew of Brundige’s routine sleepovers with young boys one at a time and did nothing to discourage a practice that would clearly heighten the risk of sexual abuse against the minor children.
The complaints state that Pastor Brundige gained the trust of countless boys by walking the streets of Bell Gardens and going to families’ homes looking for at-risk youth and recruiting them into the church. The lawsuits allege Brundige conducted Friday night bible study classes, church-sponsored piano classes, sleepovers, camping trips, and outings to the beach. The sleepovers occurred monthly for many years and were part of a program known as “Lockdowns,” where parents were encouraged to allow their children to spend the night in groups at the church for movies and religious education. Routinely, the only adult in attendance at these “Lockdowns” was Brundige.
Note: Copy of the new lawsuits are available at www.AndersonAdvocates.com