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Menlo Park, CA - John Ortberg III, Son of Menlo Church Pastor, Allowed to Work with Children Despite Known Attraction to Them

Menlo Church Pastor allows son, John Ortberg III, who is attracted to children to work with kids at Menlo Church.
Published: July 16, 2020
By: Janean Cuffee
Last Updated on November 24, 2020

Menlo Church’s Pastor Investigated for Allowing Son to Work With Children While Knowing he was Attracted to Them

Menlo Church’s Pastor’s Son, John Ortberg III, was allowed by his father John Ortberg to work with minors despite Ortberg’s knowledge of his son’s attraction to children as stated by Ortberg III’s “compulsive sexual feelings towards children” were exposed by Daniel Lavery, Ortberg’s estranged son.

Menlo Church conducted an initial investigation keeping the volunteer in question private. Following, the Board released a statement saying they did not find any indication of misconduct by the volunteer, later named as Ortberg III.

The Pastor was aware of these accusations as early as 2018 when a volunteer came forward. However, Ortberg failed to ensure the safety of minors at Menlo Church as he did not take the required steps to prevent this person from volunteering with minors in the future. Ortberg later issued an apology for mishandling the situation by not considering the concerns of the congregation, and not ensuring the safety and security of all church members.

Michael E. Pfau
Hi, I’m attorney Mike Pfau. I’m a lawyer here in California and if you or a loved one were injured in an accident, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options. Call me on the number below. It costs nothing, and it would be my honor to help you.
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Legal Options For Victims of Church Sex Abuse

Attorney contributor Mike Pfau, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer in California, represents victims of sexual abuse and their families in civil lawsuits. In a recent interview, Mr. Pfau shared his insights on sexual abuse in a church.

Bobby stated: “often sexual predators exploit their victims by placing themselves in positions of trust to commit crimes. This is demonstrated in religious organizations as we’ve seen a variety of leaders across religions charged with the sexual abuse of congregation members, often highlighting children.”

When asked if religious organizations hold a responsibility to their congregation members to uphold their safety, Bobby said the following: “Religious organizations must do their best to uphold their congregation's safety and prevent sexual abuse. In some sexual abuse cases within a church, abuse happens as a result of negligence by the religious organization. For example, when previous complaints of sexual misconduct involving clergy members or workers are ignored. In such cases of negligence, the victim of sexual abuse in the church may have grounds for a lawsuit.”


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About the Author
Janean Cuffee
About Janean Cuffee
Editor: Janean is an NYU Applied Psychology major with a double minor in history and sociology. As a NY native, she focuses on highlighting important legal news regarding violence, assaults, and social justice cases. Contact Janean: This article was fact checked prior to publishing by this author to ensure compliance with our rigorous editorial standards. We will only use authoritative sources. Our values compel us to provide only trustworthy information. If you find an error, please contact us.
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