POMONA (CNS) - A woman is suing the Salvation Army and its Pomona Corps, alleging she was sexually abused by a pastor and youth group leader starting in 2006, when she was a minor.
The plaintiff is identified only as Jane Doe in the Pomona Superior Court lawsuit that alleges sexual abuse and negligent supervision of a minor, negligence, negligent supervision of an employee and negligent hiring and retention.
Doe seeks unspecified damages. A Salvation Army representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit brought Thursday.
The Salvation Army Pomona Corps provided youth group services, a companionship program, emergency food, holiday assistance, homeless support services, personal enrichment and utility bill assistance for individuals who lived in the Pomona area, according to the suit.
Doe and her family were parishioners at the Pomona Corps community center that served as a church on La Verne Avenue in 2005 when they met her alleged abuser, the suit states. Doe, then 10 years old, was groomed by the pastor/youth leader, who gave her individual attention, befriended the girl and her family and bought her gifts, meals and ice cream, according to the suit.
“All of this was done in plain view of church leadership,” the suit states.
Doe's alleged abuser began molesting her in 2006 and continued doing so for the next six years, initially on the Pomona Corps grounds and later on a daily basis in the pastor's home after the plaintiff and her brother began living there in 2008, the suit states.
“Plaintiff alleges sexual abuse occurred more times that she can count, but certainly hundreds of times,” according to the complaint, which further alleges the Salvation Army knew the pastor was abusing Doe, but failed to protect her.
In addition, Doe and her parents were never told by the Salvation Army either before or during the time the plaintiff was abused that the church hierarchy had “vast knowledge of sexual abuse by clergy and staff within the religious organization of the Salvation Army,” according to the suit.
Doe has suffered physical and mental pain and incurred past and future costs for medical and psychological care and treatment, the suit alleges.
Doe's attorney is Louanne Masry, the daughter of the late lawyer Ed Masry of Erin Brockovich fame.