Church and pastors sued over alleged sexual abuse of minor

Ann Knef Aug. 28, 2008, 8:29am

A civil suit filed against Faith United Baptist Church in O'Fallon alleges a youth minister "initiated sexual contact and impregnated" a minor who had attended the church with her family for eight years.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, the church and co-defendant Pastor Willie Brown allegedly knew that Youth Minister Terrance Jenkins allegedly "committed separate and unrelated acts of sexual abuse with other members of the church, including an unknown 9 year old girl while in the employ of Faith United Baptist Church."

The suit claims the church had actual knowledge or should have known that Jenkins was under initial investigation for sexual abuse on or about November 2007.

Jenkins also is named as a defendant in the four-count lawsuit.

The suit claims that Jenkins continued to be under investigation on or about March 2007 "when the police asked for his (Brown's) assistance in procuring a DNA sample from Terrance Jenkins."

"Between April 16, 2008 and July 27, 2008, while working at Faith United Baptist Church, Defendant Terrance Jenkins, acting in his individual and official capacity as Youth Minister, sexually abused Plaintiff and otherwise committed acts of sexual misconduct to the detriment of Plaintiff," the complaint states.

Among other things, the suit claims the defendants are negligent for failing to report that they had "reasonable cause to believe a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be an abused child," in violation of state statute.

The suit claims the plaintiff incurred severe and permanent physical and psychological injuries as a result of defendants' breach of duty.

The plaintiff, who seeks in excess of $200,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, is represented by Jarrod P. Beasley of The Kuehn Law Firm in Belleville.

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