CORAL SPRINGS, FLORIDA - A former youth pastor from the Church by the Glades was arrested, charged and recently convicted of molesting a 14 year old child and member of the Church. A Broward County Judge sentenced him to 29 years in prison.
In June 2011, he pleaded no contest to three counts of sexual battery by a custodial authority and one count of lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim younger than 15.
According to the prosecutor, Lewis was a youth pastor at Church by the Glades, which has a congregation of between 6,000 and 7,000 members. The alleged molester met the victim when she was 12 years old and allegedly groomed her until he could take advantage of her sexually. When she was 14, Lewis molested the girl and had sex with her during encounters between May and November of 2009, according to the charges.
Civil Liability For Child Molestation
Since the Youth Pastor was in a position of authority with the church, it is likely the victim will have a civil claim for pain and suffering, emotional distress, humiliation, and medical expenses including counseling and psychological treatment, among other possible damages.
Churches often have strict guidelines to prevent sexual assaults like this from happening. I’ve handled many church molestation cases, including those involving youth pastors molesting children in the youth program. Churches should follow the “two-adult rule”, which prohibits one adult from being alone with one child. At least two adults should always be present when a church adult is around a child in their youth program.
If you were molested by a youth pastor in Florida, you may have a civil claim against the molestor and the church. You can file a claim even after the criminal case is over. The goal of the civil claim is to get answers, to pursue justice, to see whether the molestation could have been prevented, and to hold those responsible for your damages to the extent they could have stopped the sexual assault.
As a Florida crime victim’s rights attorney, I represent victims of child molestation and sexual assault throughout the entire state. This includes church molestation claim in Miami, pastor rape cases in Naples, Tampa sexual assault claims, and those in Orlando, West Palm Beach, Coral Springs, Parkland, and nearly every county in Florida.
Call me for a free consultation if you have any questions or want to see if you can pursue a civil claim in Florida in addition to the criminal case. I can be reached at 800-337-7755, or you can submit your inquiry online.