PENSACOLA, Fla. (CN) - Parents who adopted 11 Haitian orphans claim a Christian orphanage allowed its staff to sexually molest and assault the children, and subjected them to "a culture of sexual abuse."
The two sets of parents sued Globe International Ministries, on their own behalf and for the 11 children.
Globe, a Florida-based "missionary sending agency," claims it "is fulfilling the 'Great Commission' by training, sending, supporting, and overseeing missionaries on the foreign field," according to the complaint in Escambia County Court.
The agency recruits missionaries, charges them an application fee, trains them at its headquarters in Pensacola, and keeps 10 percent of the money the missionaries raise "for its own profit and use," according to the complaint.
"Globe requires its missionaries to use Globe exclusively for their ministry fund managing purposes and missionaries are not allowed to engage in raising money or managing funds in separate personal or ministry accounts not affiliated with Globe," the complaint states.
The plaintiffs say their adopted children were residents of "In the Father's Hands Children's Home," an orphanage and school in Port-de-Paix, Haiti.
Globe founded and operated the children's home through its missionaries, (nonparties) Keith Lashbrook and Lashbrook Family Ministry, and profited from donations received by the orphanage, according to the complaint.
The families say Lashbrook and other orphanage staff repeatedly molested the Haitian orphans, with Globe's knowledge.
The complaint states: "During the course of the operation of In the Father's Hands Children's Home, Keith Lashbrook and other staff and personnel for In the Father's Hands Children's Home sexually molested and assaulted the Haitian children, including plaintiffs, residing at In the Father's Hands Children's Home on multiple occurrences.
"Additionally, during the course of the operation of In the Father's Hands Children's Home, Keith Lashbrook and other staff and personnel for In the Father's Hands Children's Home created and allowed a culture of sexual abuse to exist at the home.
"Globe knew or should have known of the aforementioned sexual molestation and culture of sexual abuse, which occurred on multiple occurrences at In the Father's Hands Children's Home, within the appropriate statutes of limitation.
"On or about Aug. 24, 2010, Globe admitted and acknowledged to potential adoptive families of the Haitian children, including plaintiffs, and other donors to Globe and Lashbrook Family Ministry that sexual assaults occurred and a culture of sexual abuse existed at In the Father's Hands Children's Home."
The parents say Globe was negligent in hiring, training and supervising its missionaries and staff.
They seek damages for negligence.
They are represented by Bobby Bradford with Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz.