Attorney: Church Found Guilty Of Negligence To Pay Sexual Assault Victim $3.6 Million


A Delaware County church will pay a woman who was sexually assaulted more than $3 million after being found negligent on Monday. 

Delaware Grace Brethren Church was found negligent after a jury said the church knew about a pastor's past issues with women, but did not take any action.

"I'm glad that the truth finally came out," the victim said Monday after the decision was reached. "The church is held accountable for not taking the proper actions." 

The pastor, Brian Williams, was convicted in 2008 of sexual battery involving the victim, who at the time was 15 years old.

The crime happened at the Grace Brethren Church in Sunbury, which Williams started after leaving the Delaware Grace Brethren Church. 

The woman's attorney said that there were plenty of red flags with Williams, such as the time he told a girl in his office, "That he could have sex right there in his office and get away with it," he said. 

The lawsuit argued that if the Delaware church had taken proper action, the victim would never have met Williams at the church in Sunbury.

"When they knew about this, they should have stopped him before, and it would have never happened," the victim said. 

Church officials argued that there was no way to predict Williams would commit such a crime. A statement they released Monday said, in part, "we could never have foreseen Brian's crimes, and our church had nothing to do with his crimes. We accept the jury's verdict, but respectfully disagree with their decision." 

On Monday, the victim was awarded $3.6 million, and her father, who also was named in the suit, was awarded $75,000.

Williams is currently serving an 8-year prison sentence. 

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