According to VC Star, a youth pastor has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a girl who attended The River Community Church located 889 E Santa Clara St, Ventura, CA 93001.
Police began investigating 30-year-old James Duran II on November 11, 2021. They had learned that a woman, now 21 years old, had sexual activity with the suspect beginning when she was 14. The victim was also a member of the church where Duran worked. Allegedly the abuse took place at various locations, with some occurring during The River Community Church activities. She said she had begun to develop feelings for Duran, and they kept her from reporting the abuse.
Attorney contributor Bobby Thompson is a church sexual abuse lawyer who represents victims in civil lawsuits. Bobby recently discussed when a church can be liable for church sex abuse.
"Sexual abuse in churches has become a widespread crisis affecting all religions and denominations. Lately, there have been many reports of priests, pastors, youth pastors, and other clergy members sexually abusing congregation members. Sadly, these respected figures use their position of power and trust to exploit their victims. Many of these victims are children whose parents trusted the church would keep safe from such dangers."
"Churches and religious organizations have a legal responsibility to protect their members from preventable dangers, such as sexual abuse. By conducting comprehensive background checks on all clergy members and installing security cameras, a church can reduce the risk of such dangers and abuse. However, when a church neglects the safety on its property, it can be held liable for abuse by its staff."
"Victims can report a predatory youth pastor to law enforcement to obtain criminal charges, but the legal options available for sex abuse victims don't always end here. In cases where the church was negligent, victims may also have grounds for a lawsuit against the church or religious organization. Many times abuse could have been prevented if the church had not failed to uphold a level of safety. They could be deemed liable if they knew of previous misconduct but did not report it. Victims and their families can explore their available legal actions with an experienced church sexual abuse lawyer."