Family Says Church Covered for Molester

     KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – A church hired a convicted sex offender as an associate pastor, then obstructed an investigation after he sexually assaulted a girl in his Bible class and threatened to kill her grandmother, the girl’s family claims in court.
     The girl and her grandmother sued the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, of St. Louis; Bishop Paul A.G. Stewart Sr.; CME pastor Ernest Jones and associate pastor George Spencer, in Jackson County Court.
     The grandma, L.S., sued on behalf of her minor granddaughter, V.A.
     Defendant Spencer was convicted in March 1993 of sexual aggravated battery and in April 1999 of taking indecent liberties with a child, according to the complaint.
     Pastor Jones met Spencer in the Lansing Correctional Facility while Jones was ministering to prisoners, the complaint states.
     Despite knowing of Spencer’s crimes, after he was released Jones hired him as an associate pastor and youth pastor at his church, according to the complaint.
     Spencer lured the girl into his office during Bible study and sexually assaulted her on Feb. 22, 2012, the complaint states.
     “Once in defendant Spencer’s office, defendant Spencer ordered plaintiff to remove her bra and shirt,” the complaint states.
     “Plaintiff told defendant Spencer she did not want to and that she had to use the restroom, which was located upstairs, where her mother and grandmother were waiting.
     “After threatening plaintiff with scissors, plaintiff did in fact remove her shirt and bra.
     “Defendant Spencer then proceeded to fondle her breasts with his hands and mouth.
     “Defendant Spencer then removed his pants and showed plaintiff an erection.
     “Defendant Spencer then ordered plaintiff to remove her pants.
     “Plaintiff stated that she did not want to.
     “Defendant Spencer then threatened to kill plaintiff’s grandmother if plaintiff did not acquiesce to his demands.
     “At that point, plaintiff removed her pants.
     “Defendant Spencer attempted to penetrate plaintiff’s rectum with his penis, but she began crying.
     “Concerned about the noise, defendant Spencer stopped and then inserted a finger into plaintiff’s rectum.”
     V.A. told her grandmother and mother that night what had happened that night, and pastor Jones obstructed the investigation, the family claims.
     “Defendant Jones learned of the allegations and spoke with the authorities and forbade them from entering the church, thereby obstructing any investigation into the horrific actions and threats directed at plaintiff,” the complaint states.
     “Defendant Jones advised defendant Spencer to go back to the church and remove his belongings. Defendant Spencer, therefore, returned to the church and removed his belongings before the authorities were able to access and investigate the scene.”
     According to the Kansas City Star, Spencer, 48, was arrested in New Orleans in March 2012 on related charges. The Star reported that Spencer’s victim was 13 years old.
     The plaintiffs seek actual and punitive damages for failure to supervise clergy, negligent infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, negligent hiring/retention, clergy malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty. They are represented by Timothy Monsees.

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