According to KTLA, a youth pastor is facing sexual abuse charges while employed at the River Community Church located at 859 E Santa Clara St, Ventura, CA 93001.
30-year-old James Edward Duran II has been accused of having ongoing sexual activity with a minor at the church from 2013 until 2015. The youth pastor was arrested on December 8, 2021, and officials announced Wednesday that he is being charged with sex crimes including one count of oral copulation of a minor under the age of 16 by a person over the age of 21, and one count of oral copulation of a minor under the age of 18.
Attorney contributor Bobby Thompson is an experienced clergy abuse attorney in the state of California. Bobby represents victims of sexual abuse along with their families in civil lawsuits. Recently he sat down with Legal Herald to share his insight regarding when victims can sue if a youth pastor sexually abused their child.
"Religious organizations have a moral and legal obligation to ensure their congregation's safety. Lately, many reports have surfaced of pastors, youth pastors, and other clergy members abusing their positions of trust by sexually assaulting congregation members. We see these incidents all around the country far too frequently. Sexual abuse affects people of all ages, including children and adolescents. Like other religious organizations, churches are expected to do everything they can to protect their members from sexual exploitation. Security cameras installed throughout the church grounds and thorough background checks on each clergy member are a few examples of these security precautions."
"If a youth pastor is charged with sexual abuse and an investigation finds the church failed to provide a sufficient safety plan, the church may be held accountable in a civil case. If the youth pastor had previous sexual misconduct charges made against them, yet it was ignored by the church, that could be an example of negligence. Victims of church sex abuse should consult with an experienced clergy abuse attorney should to determine if they can file a lawsuit and get compensation for their losses."