McCall is Currently Program Director at Mustard Seed Ranch
(Los Angeles, CA) – Attorneys from Greenberg Gross LLP and Jeff Anderson & Associates filed two lawsuits today on behalf of plaintiffs Carrie Denise Dial and Julie Poole Lusk against Kenneth McCall and Seacoast Grace Church, formerly known as North Long Beach Brethren. McCall currently is the Program Director at Mustard Seed Ranch (San Juan Capistrano, CA) which claims to provide faith-based, equine therapy to traumatized youth in a safe environment.
Both plaintiffs filed their lawsuits under California’s Child Victims Act, which provides a three-year “window” for survivors of sexual abuse to bring previously time-barred claims. The lawsuit was filed in Orange County Superior Court today.
“Kenneth McCall used his position of power as a youth pastor to harass, molest, and assault young girls. Because the Church chose to cover up the abuse rather than take action to help these children, McCall has had access to countless vulnerable young girls for decades. This lawsuit will put an end to that,” said attorney Matthew Ingles of Greenberg Gross.
“North Long Beach Brethren, like any church, was supposed to be a safe place,” said survivor Carrie Denise Dial. “But Kenneth McCall took advantage of young girls like me, and the Church didn’t do anything to prevent it from happening. It was responsible.”
“As a result of my abuse by Ken McCall and the complicit actions of North Long Beach Brethren Church, I spent years questioning everything in my life—God, love, church, friends, trust, loyalty, and myself,” said survivor Julie Poole Lusk. “Knowing that Ken hurt other girls besides me, and knowing that he is working with at-risk youth now, makes me sick. I want accountability for what I and others endured. I want justice for us all.”
North Long Beach Brethren, now known as Seacoast Grace Church, is a tax-exempt religious institution that conducted youth and educational activities during the time of the abuse. McCall was employed as a pastor, teacher, and spiritual counselor, with access to parish minors in the late 1970s and early 1980s. During that time, he oversaw a number of the Church’s youth programs and initiated mentoring relationships with young girls, including both plaintiffs.
The complaints detail how McCall sexually groomed adolescent girls, including both plaintiffs, in an effort to establish trust so that he could isolate and assault them. McCall began his pattern of grooming and assaulting both Ms. Dial and Ms. Lusk when they were each 12 years old.
Both plaintiffs allege the abuse happened with the full knowledge of the leadership of the Church, and that the environment fostered a pervasive and reckless environment for young girls. The complaints also detail the decision by Church leaders to eventually allow McCall to quietly resign, which permitted him to continue to work with young children. When Church administrators interviewed Ms. Lusk about the abuse she suffered at the hands of McCall, Dean Smith, a counselor and employee at the time, confirmed the Church was aware of McCall’s assault of minor parishioners, and pointed to a stack of complaints against McCall on his desk.
“The failure of North Long Beach Brethren to protect young parishioners and their failure to report the abuse of McCall exposed countless other young girls to possible abuse. It’s time justice is served,” said attorney Mike Reck of Jeff Anderson & Associates.