PLYMOUTH, Mich. (WXYZ) — A lawsuit has be filed against First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, alleging a lack of security and supervision in the church gave way to a five-year-old girl being sexually assaulted.
The family of the girl only known as Jane Doe in the lawsuit did not want to speak publicly. However, 7 Action News did speak with the family’s lawyer.
“As much pain and trauma they were about, learning about the assault itself that was really exacerbated by the lack of response from the church,” said Monica Beck with the Fierberg National Law Group.
The lawsuit states on Palm Sunday Jane Doe was sexually assaulted in the bathroom of the church. It states the girl was left alone when she was suppose to be apart of a Palm Sunday performance.
“The church really had no measures in place to ensure the safety of their daughter, to have any understanding of who was allowed access to children in the Sunday school that Palm Sunday, which is one of the busiest days of the year at the church,” said Beck.
The church did not make anyone immediately available for comment. However 7 Action News was told the pastor who was at the church at the time the sexual assault occurred no longer works there.
An attorney for the church released this statement to 7 Action News:
"The Church was made aware of a claim involving a child on Palm Sunday in April 2017 and immediately commissioned an investigation. The Church has fully cooperated with, and provided information to, the Plymouth Police in connection with the police investigation. The Church has not seen any lawsuit involving this matter and was not aware of the filing. The Church is deeply saddened by this claim and continues to pray for anyone involved."
Plymouth Police sent 7 Action News the following statement:
"The Plymouth Police conducted a lengthy and intensive investigation that did not yield a suspect. The case was closed pending any new information."
Beck says police have DNA evidence, but that it has not helped police find the man responsible.