Two men file lawsuit against First Baptist Church of Benton claiming former church employee sexually abused them

Feb 17, 2024

BENTON, Ark. – Two men are seeking justice after they claim they were sexually abused by a former employee of the First Baptist Church of Benton when they were teens.

The lawsuit filed in Pulaski County alleges the church and the entire Southern Baptist Convention knew or should have known the man posed a danger to the youth.

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The lawsuit claims the two men were sexually abused starting in 1994 by a former church employee who was fired after being arrested for 54 counts of sexual indecency in 2009.

The 2009 arrest involving four juveniles associated with the church led to a 10-year sentence for the former church employee. That arrest and conviction were for a case that does not involve the two men filing this current lawsuit.

Mary Liu with Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, PLLC is the lawyer representing the two men. She said they want justice from the First Baptist Church of Benton for putting this man in a position to sexually harm them.

“The church knew or at least should have known that he was dangerous,” Liu stated.

The lawsuit claims sexual abuse took place at the First Baptist Church of Benton and at least one other church-affiliated location starting in 1994 when the two alleged victims were around 14 years of age.

“Our clients have been traumatized and will continue to be traumatized for the rest of their lives,” Liu said.

Liu said the two plaintiffs are now in their 40s and that “most survivors of childhood sexual abuse do not disclose until they are 52.”

Full article the full article written by Gary Burton Jr. at the FOX16 website.