A family filed a lawsuit this week against a church in Brentwood, Tennessee for allegedly covering up the rape of their 3-year-old child.
The lawsuit, which was obtained by WTVF, indicates that the family left their 3-year-old-boy in the care of the church’s Children’s Ministry on the Sunday of August 24, 2014.
When the boy said that he did not want to go back to church the next week, the family discovered that a teenage volunteer had raped the child in one of the church’s bathrooms.
The family explained in the lawsuit that they confronted church leaders, who initially claimed that the child was lying about the incident.
The church later “urged the [family] not to pursue criminal charges against the perpetrator,” the lawsuit stated.
After the volunteer pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault, the lawsuit said that the church “sought to hide the truth about the perpetrator pedophile and about the rape of [the 3-year-old child] from other families.”
“We want justice for this family,” attorney Kathryn Barnett of Morgan & Morgan told WTVF. “But also we want to make sure that every child at this church and every church is safe.”
“It’s not okay to wait until a child is raped before you start to take youth protection seriously.” she added.
A Fellowship Baptist Church training video that was created earlier this year explains that the Children’s Ministry has a strict bathroom policy.
“In all cases, no one should be alone with a child,” the video says. “Two adults are required to escort a child to the bathroom.”
Watch the video report below from WTVF, broadcast Nov. 30, 2015.
Watch the Fellowship Baptist Church training video below.