The Village Church, a Southern Baptist megachurch, has been sued by a woman alleging that she was sexually abused as an 11-year-old while attending church camp, Baptist News Global reports. She says that a children’s pastor for the church sexually assaulted her inside a cabin at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Camp in Cedar Hill, Texas, BNG reports.

Any other victims should contact us about The Village Church lawsuit investigation.

Lawsuit Accuses Village Church Pastor of Sexual Abuse

The lawsuit accuses a youth pastor, Matthew Tonne, of sexually molesting the plaintiff when she was 11 years old at a camp hosted by The Village Church, according to BNG.

The girl kept the sexual assault secret for six years, BNG reports. While undergoing psychological treatment for severe depression and anorexia, she revealed the assault for the first time to her parents, reports BNG. Her parents reported the sexual abuse to police the very next day, according to BNG.

About a month later, after the victim’s mother accidentally cc’ed a church official on an email exchange with a police detective, The Village Church announced to its members that Pastor Tonne had been removed from his position for “alcohol-related reasons,” according to BNG. Even though the Church knew about the abuse allegations, church leadership “made the conscious decision not to share that with the church body, but instead communicated his removal solely for alcohol-related reasons,” according to the lawsuit.

BNG reports that the girl’s mother said in an interview that:

church leaders refused to accept responsibility or apologize for her daughter’s attack and seemed more interested in protecting the institution than seeking the truth.

Learn more about our investigation

Our Sexual Abuse Victims' Attorneys

Steven Tindall

Steven Tindall has specialized in employment and class action litigation for over twenty years. He has been lead or co-lead counsel on several cases that resulted in settlements worth over $1 million.

Karen Barth Menzies

Karen Menzies has more than twenty years of experience in federal and state mass tort litigation. Courts throughout the country have appointed Karen to serve in case leadership positions.

Amy Zeman

Amy has built a reputation in the plaintiffs’ bar for delivering results and justice to consumers and sexual assault survivors in class action and mass tort litigation. The Daily Journal named her a Top Woman Lawyer in California for 2021.

Aaron Blumenthal

Aaron Blumenthal represents consumers, employees, and whistleblowers in class action and other complex litigation.

About Us

Gibbs Law Group is a California-based law firm committed to protecting the rights of clients nationwide who have been harmed by corporate misconduct. We represent individuals, whistleblowers, employees, and small businesses across the U.S. against the world’s largest corporations. Our award-winning lawyers have achieved landmark recoveries and over a billion dollars for our clients in high-stakes class action and individual cases involving consumer protection, data breach, digital privacy, and federal and California employment lawsuits. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Top Class Action Attorneys Under 40,” “Consumer Protection MVP,” “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Top Cybersecurity/ Privacy Attorneys Under 40.”