Friday, June 21, 2013

Justice for the victim of church enabled sexual assault

A woman who was sexually assaulted by former pastor Brian L. Williams of Sunbury Grace Brethren Church, has filed a lawsuit against the church alleging that the church knowingly hired a Williams despite a history of sexual assault allegations. The victim and her father seek $25,000 in compensatory damages and in excess of $25,000 in punitive damages.

Williams pleaded guilty and was convicted of two counts of sexual assault. He is serving two four-year terms in prison and is not a party in the lawsuit.

When this story originally broke, members of Grace Brethren defended Williams in comments on a post here at Deep Thoughts. All comments were anonymous.

Here are a few choice comments.

There have been no other girls that have accused him of anything.

It's also a shame that people are assumed guilty before it's proven.

and this…

This girls reputation around town is not one of integrity or purity. People have guessed who the victim is just because of her previous claims of being a rape victim. O' her again? Is she sticking to the lie this time because it has gone too far? Why is she going around school asking people if they have heard the news?I hope she is ready for the intense probing of the truth she is about to face in a trial.

and this…

I agree, everyone is entitled to their own opinion of this situation. It is very hard to side with the victim in this case. Like the previous poster said, she is a habitual liar and BW is known in several communities as an outstanding Pastor who has helped numerous families for years. His life was dedicated to helping people and this 15 year old, who is known to be unstable, simply can not be trusted. I admit, I will be devastated if he is found guilty, but I can't help but wonder, did she come on to him? Did he shove her away and then she think he attacked her? I can't help having these thoughts because of the way this girl operates. I really want to believe her but I can't find it in myself to do so. When you know both people and their history, it is just so very hard to grasp that PB just all the sudden raped a 15 year old girl. Satan is cunning and when a man is tempted, we all know lust takes over.The one question that haunts me is why did he counsel her alone? The only thing we can do is wait and pray for both families. I really hope the evidence is substantial, like DNA, and not just a taped phone conversation. They could have been having two completely different conversations. This is really difficult, a community is suffering and no matter what the verdict, lives have been changed forever.

and this…

You must not know the Lord to say such nonsense. ANY sin is forgivable so why do you think he will have to answer for his actions when he dies? If he did it, sorry, the Lord can forgive him right this second, as long as he truly repents. Slate clean! That is the great thing about grace. Obviously something you don't understand. And wake up, the Lord already knows, he doesn't have to be here.

and this…

I have known PB for many years and as a youth i went on many missions trips with his previous church where he was a youth pastor. I was never put in a situation where i felt uncomfortable in any way around pb. we went to france on a missions trip along with other places in the us and i can speak for me but nothing like this happened with me. then he left and started the church in sunbury where he was/is a senior pastor. wouldnt you think you would have seen a hit of the behavior before? I understand people can change but i am reserving my judgement until all the facts come to light.

I have some questions that i feel need to be answered in this case
1. why would the girl wait 24 hours?
2. would she not have been upset when picked up by the family member after the meeting.
3. where is the dna?
4. has the youth been involved in the system, in trouble before?
5. did someone say this has been stated from the youth before?? but then she took it back?

I do not think $25,000 is enough. Do you? The jury awarded 3.6 million dollars.

The Delaware County jury on Monday found that one or more employees of Grace Brethren Church of Delaware, Ohio, was negligent in supporting Brian L. Williams' hiring and retention as senior pastor of Sunbury Grace Brethren Church, where he sexually assaulted the woman in 2008, according to court documents. Delaware Grace failed to properly investigate and document earlier incidents of sexually inappropriate behavior allegedly committed by Williams, the jury concluded, which allowed him to be "empowered to a greater responsibility" as senior pastor of Sunbury Grace.

Justice is served and it tastes like a bankrupt church.