According to Daily Voice, a pastor that taught children at Temple Refugio has been charged with sexually assaulting two different girls.
Josue Rodriguez, 62-years-old, abused two young victims - both were his students at Temple Refugio. One girl was between the ages of six and nine, and the other girl was between the ages of eight and fifteen.
Rodriguez was arrested after one of the victim’s mothers reported the crime to Jersey City police. The investigation revealed the second victim. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault. He will serve a 15-year sentence.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent has represented numerous victims of sexual abuse. In an interview, we asked Brian to highlight the legal options of victims sexually abused by a pastor.
"Churches are expected by the law to uphold the safety of their members. Sadly, we have seen many congregation members sexually abused by a pastor or other clergy members, including children. Religious organizations have a legal obligation to try their best to protect all their members from sexual predators."
"If a clergy member has abused a victim, the investigation should not only focus on the clergy member but also the church. In some cases, abuse only occurs due to the church being negligent and failing to protect its members. If church officials were aware of previous misconduct reports but ignored them, they may be deemed negligent. However, there are many different ways the church could be considered negligent. In such cases, victims and their families should know they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit."