Sexual abuse victim files lawsuit against Spring Lake Park Church
Attorney: “In all aspects of this case church officials failed miserably to provide a safe environment”
(Minneapolis) St. Paul-based clergy abuse attorneys Jeff Anderson & Associates filed a lawsuit today in Hennepin County District Court on behalf of a 21 year-old Blaine man who was sexually abused at the age of 15 by his youth pastor in 2005. The lawsuit names the Emmanuel Christian Center of the Assemblies of God in Spring Lake Park, its youth pastor in 2005, Paul Alan Brandon, and the Minnesota District Council of the Assemblies of God.
The lawsuit claims the plaintiff, referred to in the complaint as John Doe 169, was sexually abused by Brandon in the summer and fall of 2005 when the youth pastor would hold church-sponsored Friday night sleepovers at his home in Brooklyn Park.
Sarah Odegaard, an attorney in the Jeff Anderson law firm, said at the time the Assemblies of God Church had a policy that allowed the youth pastor to have overnight stays at his private residence and in fact, “in his role as youth pastor, Brandon would gather children at the church and drive them to his home in the church van.”
Odegaard said that prior to her client’s sexual abuse in 2005, Brandon had molested another victim during church-sponsored sleepovers. In 2010, Brandon was convicted of criminal sexual conduct for that abuse and Plaintiff’s abuse. Adding that “in all aspects of this case church officials failed miserably to provide a safe environment for children to access spiritual guidance and counseling.”
The four count complaint charges Brandon with sexual battery of the Plaintiff and the church and its District Council with negligent supervision of Brandon, negligence in providing a secure environment for Plaintiff and vicarious liability for the misconduct of the youth pastor.
Copy of the complaint is available at www.AndersonAdvocates.com