Lawsuit Claims Oregon Conference Ignored Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Teacher and Pastor
1 April 2018 | A woman has sued the Oregon Conference of the Adventist Church claiming that it ignored sexual abuse allegations against Lee Thompson who taught at Portland Adventist Elementary School in the early 1970s. The lawsuit claims that the conference simply moved Thompson from his role at the school to a new one as pastor of the Mt. Tabor church in Portland, where he allegedly continued to abuse the same young girl.
Willamette Week reported that the lawsuit lists the plaintiff as Laura Doe and seeks $4 million in economic and emotional damages from the church in addition to punitive damages.
“This is not the first time the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been accused of turning a blind eye towards child sexual abuse,” says Stephen Crew, Doe’s legal representative in the suit. “We believe it is important to uncover the truth about what happened and to hold the Church accountable—to help ensure that this does not happen to children today.”
According to the Adventist denomination’s Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, the Oregon Conference has 36,250 members and 132 churches.