Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Woman accused of sexually assaulting three-year-old denies allegations

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 16, 2017


A woman accused of sexual assault denies the allegations in a suit alleging a young girl was sexually and physically abused with a tampon at Word of Life Tabernacle.

Olivia Valentine Crippen Foster answered the complaint on April 11 through attorney David C. Berwin of Evans & Dixon LLC in St. Louis.

She denied the allegations against her and argued in her affirmative defenses that the complaint fails to state a claim.

She also argues that the case should be barred by the statute of limitations and the doctrines of estoppel and laches. She did not provide any additional details in her two affirmative defenses.

Mary Doe, individually and as mother and next friend of Jane Doe, filed the suit on Jan. 28, 2016, against Word of Life Tabernacle, Henry Crippen, individually and as president of Word of Life Tabernacle, Lisa Cochran, individually and as principal of Word of Life Tabernacle, and Foster.

Mary Doe claims Jane Doe was attending the defendants’ after-school center on April 7, 2010, when she was three years old. She alleges Foster forced a tampon applicator into the child’s rectum and a tampon into the child’s vaginal area.

Cochran, Crippen and Word of Life Tabernacle filed separate answers to the complaint on March 18 through attorneys Steven Hughes and Joseph Hoffman of Hughes Harris Law LLC in St. Louis.

They argue that their actions were reasonable at all times under the circumstances and that any alleged harm was caused by individuals over which they had no control.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge scheduled a case management conference for July 26 at 9 a.m.

Doe is represented by Michael R. Wesley of the Law Office of Michael R. Wesley LLC in Wood River.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-123

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