Oregon Assembly of God Sex Abuse Case Filed


April 12, 2016


For More Information or to arrange an interview with the Plaintiff W.J.:

 Gilion C. Dumas                     503-952-6789  gilion@dumaslawgroup.com

Ashley L. Vaughn                   931-206-0090  ashley@dumaslawgroup.com

cross-1184899_960_720PORTLAND, OREGON: An Oregon man filed suit today in Portland against the First Assembly of God of Albany church, and the state and national organizations that operate the church, for the sexual abuse he suffered as a child in the 1980s by two youth leaders in the church. The Plaintiff W.J. brings this case now, finally having the courage to break his silence and come forward.  The Complaint in W.J. v. First Assembly of God of Albany, et al., Mult. Co. Circuit Ct. Case No. 16CV11965 will be published in a separate post.

The Complaint alleges that Ralph Wade Gantt and Todd Clark were both leaders in the Royal Rangers, an educational and recreational program for boys, similar to Boy Scouts, sponsored by the church. These men, the Complaint alleges, abused their position of leadership, trust, and respect as church leaders and mentors to repeatedly sexually abuse W.J., beginning when he was about 12 years old and continuing for approximately three years.

Both Gantt and Clark were convicted in 1988 for child sexual abuse of other victims associated with the First Assembly of God church in Albany.

W.J., the man filing the Complaint, stated, “For years, I put what happened to me when I was a kid out of my thoughts. But now I realize that the abuse affected my life. Only now am I able to face my fears, come forward to hold the Church accountable for its actions, and try to prevent this kind of abuse from happening other children.”

Gilion Dumas, one of the attorneys representing the man, explains that this delay is common with victims of abuse, “As a result of the trauma caused by childhood sexual abuse, very few sexual abuse survivors ever report what happened to them. It can be years and even decades before those who do report come forward. Simple telling their story is a huge step towards healing.”

Dumas also notes that, based on Gantt and Clark’s history of sexual activity with minors, it is likely that there are witnesses with relevant information, adding “We want these witnesses or other survivors of abuse to know that, if they come forward, they will be listened to and treated with respect.”

Although filing a lawsuit is stressful, W.J. remains positive: “I hope that my decision will motivate other people to come forward and seek the justice they deserve.”

The case was filed today in Multnomah County Circuit Court by attorneys Gilion Dumas and Ashley Vaughn of Portland’s Dumas Law Group, a firm that frequently represents adult victims of childhood sexual abuse against the institutions that allowed the abuse, such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, and other churches and youth-serving organizations.

Anyone who has additional information about this matter is encouraged to contact attorneys Gilion Dumas or Ashley Vaughn at the following contact information:

Gilion C. Dumas                     503-952-6789              gilion@dumaslawgroup.com

Ashley L. Vaughn                   931-206-0090              ashley@dumaslawgroup.com

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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