Sexual Assault Victim Claims Delaware Church Was Negligent

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A Delaware church is headed to court, accused of not thoroughly investigating complaints against a pastor who later sexually assaulted a girl.

The attorney for the victim said the church could have prevented the crime, but church officials say they had no control.
 
Five years after the crime, the victim said she still thinks about that day in her church pastor’s office.
 
“Like two to three times a week, the whole day will replay in my head again. I'm afraid of the dark, afraid to be by myself,” said the woman, who 10TV News did not name.

Back in 2008, Brian Williams was convicted of sexual battery against the then 15-year-old girl while he was serving as senior pastor at Grace Brethren Church in Sunbury.

The attorney for the victim said the incident five years ago wasn't his first.

In a negligence lawsuit filed in Delaware County Common Pleas Court, the attorney for the plaintiffs alleges that in the early 90s, while Williams was serving as youth pastor at Delaware Grace Brethren Church, he put his hand down the back of a 16-year-old girl's overalls.

And in 2002, he was accused of saying inappropriate things to an 18-year-old woman at his church office.

“That is highly inappropriate conduct. He has no business being a youth pastor if he is going to engage in that kind of conduct,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, John Fitch.

On Monday, the current pastor at Delaware Grace Brethren Church told 10TV that Williams left in 2004 to start the church in Sunbury.

But in court documents, the plaintiffs’ attorney said despite not being an employee, he was still receiving financial support from the church.  

The woman Williams is convicted of assaulting said she wishes he had been fired years earlier.

“If he would have been stopped, then he would have never had his own church, and it would have never happened,” the victim told 10TV.

The civil trial is slated to begin Tuesday morning in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

The victim is expected to testify.

The victim’s father is also named as a plaintiff in this case.

Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery.

He is currently serving eight years in the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

On Monday, the current pastor of Delaware Grace Brethren Church released this statement, in part it reads:
     
“While we are deeply saddened over the crimes committed and asking God to bring healing to the victim and her family, we are convinced that Delaware Grace had no connection to Brian's criminal activity.”

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