Sunday, September 24, 2023
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Parents Say Church Teacher Abused Daughter

(CN) - The Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pompano Beach, Fla., negligently hired a sexual predator who molested a young girl in their care, the alleged victim's parents claim in a lawsuit.

In a lengthy complaint filed in the Broward County circuit court Charles and Nancy Marchitello allege their daughter, a minor referred to as I.M. in the court documents, was repeatedly assaulted by Eric Richard Beasley, a teacher at the church school.

They claim the incidents occurred over a two-month period earlier this year, during which time Beasley inappropriately touched, exposed himself to, and had unlawful sexual intercourse with I.M. on multiple occasions.

The Marchitellos say Beasley had access to their daughter because the school failed to conduct a thorough background check before hired him.

The parents also claim Philipe DuPont, the school's principal, failed to take reasonable steps to safeguard the children in his care, failed to stop Beasley from allegedly molesting their daughter, and failed to investigate the matter after initial concerns were raised.

The other defendants named in the lawsuit are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Inc., Paul Lutze, and Eric Richard Beaseley.

The Marchitellos are seeking damages on claims of negligence, battery, sexual battery on a minor, negligent hiring, retention and supervision, vicarious liability, and negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress.

They are represented by Scott Smith of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath of West Palm Beach, Fla.

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