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Judge Tosses Out Most of Abuse Lawsuit Against Sovereign Grace Ministries

  • Religion Today Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 May 20

A judge has dismissed most of a civil lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries days after it was amended to add names and changes, but the ruling didn't address the allegations of sexual abuse because the plaintiffs didn't sue in time before the statute of limitations expired, Christianity Today reports. The ruling "did not deal with whether or not the sexual abuse actually happened, but it was a big disappointment for the alleged victims," said Greta Kreuz of WJLA. "The judge agreed [with SGM attorneys] that the victims had to sue within three years of turning age 18, and that deadline expired years ago." Alleged victim Renee Palmer Gamby said: "It was all just based on technicalities. It wasn't even based on the merit of whether or not it actually happened." Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax attorney Robert Worst told WJLA, "I think it was the right decision." Kreuz noted that two of the 11 plaintiffs recently turned 18 so they may have a case on their own; there is no statute of limitations for felonies, so the SGM pastors and churches named as defendants could still face criminal charges.