According to 69 News, another victim has come forward with sexual assault allegations against the deacon of Church of God Holy Ground located at 5205 Milford Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA 18302.
On November 16, 2021, new charges were brought against 45-year-old Jeronimo Maisonet. The second victim alleged that the abuse took place in 2016 when he was 14 years old.
Currently, Maisonet is facing charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, along with the corruption of minors.
To learn more about the previous charges against Maisonet:
Attorney contributor Brian Kent has years of experience representing sexual assault victims in civil lawsuits. Brian recently shared his insight on filing a lawsuit for sexual abuse by a church deacon.
"Often in sexual assault cases, the perpetrator is someone close to the victim and in a position of trust, like a deacon. Pastors, priests, and deacons are all positions that are respected and assumed to be trustworthy. Unfortunately, predators will take these positions to gain access to vulnerable victims. The church has a legal obligation to weed out those with a history of misconduct and prevent abuse within its congregation. This may be done by conducting extensive background checks on all clergy and processing any reports of misconduct."
"When someone is sexually abused in a church or by a church official, like a deacon, the victim has legal rights to file lawsuits in both criminal and civil courts. Reporting the abuse to law enforcement will lead to a criminal investigation and possible criminal charges against the perpetrator. However, the victim and their family may be entitled to file against the church if the church failed to provide preventative safety measures. If previous allegations were made against a deacon, but they were allowed to continue being employed, the church could be held accountable for abuse. Victims can learn more about their legal rights by consulting with a sexual assault lawyer.