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ARTICLE ID 194269

$________ – Sexual assault – Negligent supervision/negligent hiring by defendant church of 23-year-old sexton – Sexton engages in otherwise consensual intercourse with 14-year-old girl – Emotional injury

Philadelphia County, PA

The plaintiff contended that the defendant Church failed to properly screen a 23-year old sexton before hiring him. The plaintiff maintained that if it had done so, prior employers would have indicated that he was unreliable. The plaintiff maintained because no background investigation was performed, he was given all the keys to the church premises, and allowed 24-hour per day access to tend to emergencies. The sexton was charged and convicted of statutory sexual assault, and ordered to serve a probationary period of 7 years.The plaintiff further contended that the sexton regularly brought his adult girlfriend onto the premises, and he had engaged in sexual acts with her on several occasions on the premises. The plaintiff maintained that this course showed that the sexton, believed that he could use the premises for his own whims, while knowing there would be no repercussions. The plaintiff’s security expert contended that the church improperly hired the sexton, and provided inadequate supervision and security. The plaintiff maintained that the abuse was a substantial factor in the minor plaintiff, engaging in self-harming behaviors, such as cutting and engaging in numerous sexual relations with older men who were strangers. The minor plaintiff underwent extensive in-patient and out-patient psychological treatment and was eventually placed into a group home.The plaintiff’s rape trauma expert would have testified that the sexual relationship with the sexton was a substantial contributing factor to the self-harming behaviors, including the risky sexual acting out with strangers. The defendant contended that the primary cause of the difficulties was he fact that the minor’s mother was a prostitute, who had been convicted and sentenced to jail in the months before the sexual contact with the sexton for luring johns to motel rooms with the promise of sex, only to have a co-conspirator break entry into the room to rob the john.The case settled prior to trial for $________.

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