According to Houston Chronicle, a former executive pastor from Horizon Baptist Church located at 2223 FM 1092 Rd, Missouri City, TX 77459, has been accused of sexually assaulting a minor.
William Benjamin Woodward was dismissed from his role as executive pastor of Horizon Baptist Church following allegations of sexual assault against a child back on April 4, 2021. Woodward was given the executive position in 2018 and provided counseling to other pastors who had social and emotional abuse challenges.
Details are still under investigation as police say Woodward faces charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Our attorney contributor Marc Lenahan is an experienced sexual assault attorney and has represented victims of sexual assault in civil lawsuits. Marc has provided information on the rights of victims sexually assaulted by a pastor below:
"Unfortunately, sexual predators often seek employment in churches, making it a prime setting for abuse. They will use the power associated with their positions to gain access to their victims. Institutions, such as churches, are legally obligated to protect their members from the leaders. They may be considered negligent if proper protection measures were not in place when an assault occurs."
"Negligence, in most cases, is the root of sexual abuse within a religious organization. If previous allegations of sexual assault or abuse have been ignored, it is considered negligence. Cameras within churches could provide security and ensure safety around the building. In negligence cases, victims should be aware they may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the clergy member as well as against the establishment."