Lesson #1 for new Mark Dever interns: blackmail and covering up sexual abuse of children is acceptable behavior for a celebrity pastor.
“I’m here because I love my friend Mark Dever who I often refer to as O Captain, My Captain … and that’s said with full affection and because nobody more effectively orders me to do things than Mark does. And I love it; he just bosses me around and tells me what to do, and it’s a pure joy to follow him, so I’m here because I want to learn from him and the other men speaking and because I want to serve him in any way I can because I am indebted to him.”
-C.J. Mahaney speaking at Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church
Below is an excerpt of a Mahaney sermon at Mark Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist Church, March 30, 2003. On display is the typical Mahaney ploy of flattery and cash donations to obtain the friendship of a celebrity.
What does $10,000 get you from Mark Dever?
His soul. In my opinion Mark Dever has compromised his soul in defending C.J. Mahaney against very credible charges of blackmail and covering up sexual abuse in his denomination. Dever is an influential man; a man with a carefully groomed image of a sage leader, a man of integrity intent on furthering Christ’s kingdom. Yet Mark Dever, along with his good friend Albert Mohler, have done more to obfuscate the truth concerning C.J. Mahaney than anyone else. From conservative Christian celebrities to young, impressionable interns, Dever has reassured men too lazy to search for the truth concerning Mahaney for themselves that there is nothing to the charges.
Below is a quote I recently received from a Christian celebrity friend of mine. This man has spoken at Mahaney’s church and continues to promote books authored by Mahaney. I have pleaded with him to cease doing so, but in spite of never examing the evidence for himself, he is certain Mahaney is an innocent man. Why? Because Mark Dever told him so.
“When Mark Dever sat down with some of the people who were involved in accusing CJ. Mark told me, personally, that they did not have their facts right about the things that he had personally witnessed (I don’t remember the specifics, but they had to do with “fleeing to CHBC”) which causes great suspicion on the other things they say.”
I happen to know the people Dever “sat down with.” I have also sat down with them. That Dever would twist this meeting into an occassion to defend the integrity of C.J. Mahaney is despicable. These people have had their lives ravaged by sexual abuse and the cover up that followed. They may or may not have had their facts wrong about Mahaney “fleeing to CHBC,” but they most definitely have their facts correct about the sexual abuse and following cover up which C.J. Mahaney had full knowledge of. Strangely, Dever doesn’t speak of that matter!
Apparently a $10,000 donation to Mark Dever will also purchase you two slots to Mark Dever’s internship program. Brian Chesemore and Mike Bradshaw are both son-in-laws of C.J. Mahaney. Back in 2012, at the height of furor over the Sovereign Grace sexual abuse scandal, C.J. was able to parlay his friendship with Dever into obtaining two slots in the Spring internship program at Capitol Hill Baptist Church for his boys. As the course was winding down Mike Bradshaw produced a typical Sovereign Grace type video – short segments of the CHBC intern class taking turns thanking Mark Dever, the elders and the members at CHBC with hip music rising in volume during the segues. The first two guys speaking are Brian Chesemore followed by Mike Bradshaw. Chesemore is an assistant pastor at Mahaney’s runaway church plant in Louisville and Bradshaw is a deacon. I leave it to the good members of CHBC to determine if their monies were put to good use!
I leave you with some cold, hard evidence of what type of man C.J. Mahaney is, and what type of organization he led. Don’t take my word for it, and definitely don’t take Mark Dever’s word for Mahaney’s innocence. Do some work for yourself. The truth is out there for all to see.
On October 14, 1997 our journal entry records the following: “Larry and our child talked by phone with a lawyer. He advised Larry to tell the Team (the board) to ‘not even think of using our child’s confessed sins to blackmail Larry.’ ‘It’s blackmail and punishable by jail, prosecuted in every state – no exceptions. It’s a breach of penitent/counselor confidentiality.’”
When Ted Kober, the President of Ambassadors of Reconciliation heard the tape recording of what was said to us repeatedly by the Team he dropped his head in dismay while his associate literally wiped away tears.
The panel report says, “CJ allowed for the possibility of making known their child’s sin if Larry communicated that he was leaving SGM over doctrinal disagreement.” This minimizes CJ’s sin and describes it far too mildly. He made a direct, emphatic and unethical threat. He was not allowing for the possibility, he was promising to expose our child. In our conversation, we confronted him three times with the word “blackmail” to describe his threats. His exact words back to us were “I’m stating it!” He threatened us with blackmail!
- At the first mention of the threat, Doris called CJ on it: “That’s blackmail!”
- In two subsequent taped conversations with other SGM leaders we again labeled it “blackmail.”
- An attorney from whom we sought counsel defined it as “blackmail.”
- National leaders who heard the tape recordings referred to it as “blackmail.”
I read the following words to CJ in Nashville from Webster’s dictionary:
“Blackmail: extortion (the act of obtaining from a person by force or undue or illegal power or ingenuity) by threats especially of public exposure.”
Webster’s dictionary defines what it is and, as they say, “It is what it is!” Why soft-pedal this coercive threat that was used to obtain our silence? Plus we have the recordings to prove it and have requested on several occasions that the SGM board and others that were involved listen with us to themselves on the tapes before there’s asking of forgiveness. To date they have dismissed our request.
While CJ, and the SGM board and the panel report acknowledge what happened was “coercive, wrong and sinful,” they all stop short of being specific about the most egregious offense which is immoral, illegal and unethical. It was premeditated, repeated and agreed upon by all the leadership team. (The report makes this clear.)
Departed board members Paul Palmer and Brent Detwiler both cited “blackmail” when they asked forgiveness – the former over 8 years ago! Yet when Dave Harvey called us the week before the report’s release, he (like CJ, Steve Shank and Larry Malament) hedged on using the accurate and serious designation.
Isn’t it time to once and for all stop any “spin,” man up, and confess it for what it is? And an addendum…if CJ and Steve have a “vague recollection” (as stated in the report) of CJ supposedly calling us within a few days to “withdraw the threat” so it really didn’t “hang over” us for over a decade, why when CJ and Steve called our child years later to finally ask forgiveness for some of the areas of offense did they still refuse to call and ask forgiveness of Doris and me even when our child asked them to? Why would it take 14 years before CJ and Steve would finally confess the injustice and even then “tone it down” with softer terminology? These are real questions that warrant real answers. By the way, they have a “vague recollection” of some call. WE HAVE NO RECOLLECTION of any such call! We wouldn’t have forgotten it or failed to put it in our journal of those events!!
Plaintiff Grace Goe [Olivia Llewellyn-Graham] is one of nine children in the Llewellyn family. Her father goes by the name “Charlie.” I’ve interacted with him on a few occasions and I know some of the people who work for him. Charlie is the President of Llewellyn Realtors in Rockville, Maryland which lists 83 agents on its website. He is wealthy. He is an influential member of Covenant Life Church. And he physically and sexually abused family members according to victims and witnesses. C.J. Mahaney, Joshua Harris, Gary Ricucci, Grant Layman and others conspired to cover up his alleged crimes.
Here are the factual allegations put forward by one of his daughters in the Second Amended Complaintunder the pseudonym, Grace Goe. [Olivia wanted me to write this post and provided critical information. That’s why she publicly commented by name on The Warburg Watch, “Brent is okay to expose my parents. Truth is truth.” (June 5, 2013)]
152. As Donna Doe was being subjected to the terror of living with her pedophiliac father, Defendants were also forcing Plaintiff Grace Goe to endure constant physical and sexual abuse from her father [Charlie Llewellyn], a wealthy man who was and remains a prominent member of the Covenant Life Church.
153. Grace Goe’s father repeatedly beat her on her naked buttocks so harshly that she bled and bruised. Her father would then submerge her into an ice bath to hide the physical manifestations of the beatings.
154. Grace Goe’s father also repeatedly sexually abused her, making her rub his feet, which he then inserted into her vagina. He also molested her on several occasions by rubbing his hands over her breasts, at times outside her clothes and at times against her bare skin under her clothes.
155. Grace Goe’s father engaged in the physical and sexual abuse towards the other children, including the male children, whose penises he repeatedly fondled.
156. Defendants Ricucci and Layman learned of the ongoing abuse no later than in or around 1997, when Grace Goe was 13. At that time, a housekeeper named Mary Burcham reported the ongoing abuse of the Goe children to Defendants Ricucci and Layman, and discovery will show other Defendants. Defendants Ricucci and Layman met with Grace Goe and her older female sibling, who reported the fact of the abuse to the Individual Defendants and sought protection from their abusive father.
157. Rather than report the ongoing abuse to the secular authorities or take any steps to stop the abuse, Defendants informed the father that his children had reported the abuse. This led to further abuse by the father. In exchange for the conspiracy of silence, the abusive father paid to send Defendants Mahaney, Ricucci and Layman and their families on vacation to the Kiawah Islands, South Carolina.
158. On or about September 17, 2008, Plaintiff Grace Goe again reached out the Defendants, seeking assistance in preventing the ongoing abuse of her siblings. Defendants failed to report or take any other steps to stop the ongoing and severe abuse.
159. In May 2010, Plaintiff Grace Goe again sought help from Defendants Layman and Ricucci, as she was concerned that her father was continuing to abuse the children remaining in the house.
160. On May 14, 2010, Defendants conspired to mislead Plaintiff Grace Goe into believing that they would finally assist in ending the abuse. Defendant Grant Layman affirmatively made misrepresentations in writing to Grace Goe, assuring her that “[a]fter the pastors discussed this situation, the bottom line is, we feel a moral obligation to report.”
161. Yet this was a falsehood. Defendant Layman and his co-conspirators again failed to report the abuse, and instead continue to assist the wealthy father in avoiding any consequences for his ongoing abuse of his children.
Confirmation of Facts
I’ve been able to confirm the following.
- The Llewellyn family left Covenant Life Church in 1996. They returned in 2008 and began pursuing membership in 2010. Charlie was denied membership by the pastors but not fellowship in the church. For all intent and purposes, however, he has been treated like a member since his return.
- It appears Grace Goe was motivated to get back in contact with Gary Ricucci (C.J.’s brother-in-law)and Grant Layman (C.J.’s brother-in-law) when her family returned to Covenant Life Church in 2008 (cf. 158) and, then again, when they pursued membership in 2010 (cf. 159). [That is what Olivia told me.] The time frames clearly coordinate with each other.
- Mary Burcham, Grace Goe and her older sister, reported the alleged physical and sexual abuse to Gary and Grant in 1996, not 1997. Approximately six weeks later, Ms. Burcham’s employment as a housekeeper was ended by Charlie Llewellyn. Around the same time, the Llewellyn’s left Covenant Life Church.
- Soon after they left, Charlie sent the Mahaney, Ricucci and Layman families to the Kiawah Islands in South Carolina on an expensive vacation. He covered the costs.
- No reports of physical or sexual abuse were ever filed by C.J., Joshua, Gary or Grant from 1996 to 2012 with the Montgomery County Police Department or the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS).
- Complaint 156 implies Gary, Grant and others knew about the allege abuse before 1996. It says they “learned of the ongoing abuse,” not “they learned of the abuse.” Mary Burcham, Grace Goe and her sister told them the abuse continued. That only makes sense if Gary and Grant had knowledge of previously alleged abuse. This is further confirmed in Complaint 158 where reference to “the ongoing abuse” includes previous knowledge.
- Gary and Grant met with Mary Burcham, Grace Goe and her sister in 1996. C.J. was the senior pastor. I guarantee that when Gary and Grant “learned of the ongoing abuse” so did C.J.!
- I worked with C.J. for 30 years. Anyone withholding this kind of information from him would have been fired in all likelihood. He expected to be involved in things of much less importance. Gary and Grant would have been in huge trouble with C.J. if they excluded him and worked independently of him. Moreover, Charlie Llewellyn was a friend of C.J.’s. Gary and Grant would have told C.J. about the allegations on that basis alone.
- Complaint 156 says “Mary Burcham reported the ongoing abuse of the Goe children to Defendants Ricucci and Layman, and discovery will show other Defendants. Defendants Ricucci and Layman met with Grace Goe and her older female sibling, who reported the fact of the abuse to the Individual Defendants.” C.J. escaped deposition in the civil suit. Maybe he’ll be deposed in a criminal investigation. When he is, it will be shown “the fact of abuse” was “reported” to him by Gary and Grant.
- The alleged physical and sexual abuse was on-going for at least 17 years according to Grace Goe. That means there is a long history. No reports were ever filed by the CLC pastors with the police or the DHHS during this lengthy period of time.
- The documented reporting of “ongoing abuse” to Gary and Grant occurred in 1996, 2008 and 2010. It includes recent history. Joshua Harris replaced C.J. as senior pastor in 2004 but was still being mentored by C.J. in 2010. I have no doubt, Joshua sought C.J.’s counsel and input on how to handle Charlie’s return to Covenant Life, his membership in the church, and most importantly, whether to report the criminal allegations to police and the DHHS.
- Complaint 160 says, “Layman…made misrepresentations in writing to Grace Goe.” This indicates physical evidence in the form of an email most likely. The Plaintiffs’ lawyers would never make such an assertion if Grace Goe was not in possession of that writing.
- The writing says “[a]fter the pastors discussed this situation, the bottom line is, we feel a moral obligation to report.” This discussion occurred in May 2010. It included “the pastors.” Joshua had to be part of the decision to report the allegations of physical and sexually abuse to the proper authorities. He and C.J. knew all about Grace Goe. Tragically, they never followed through on their moral and legal obligation to report.
Recently Bill O’Neil, co-counsel for the Plaintiffs’, was interviewed on the Janet Mefferd Show. He provided an answer that defined the meaning of “conspiracy” in simple terms.
Janet Mefferd: Now when you speak of the legal theory you were putting out there to get around the statute of limitations issue; what was the theory you were operating under to get around the statute of limitations?
Bill O’Neil: Our focus was on the conspiracy that we believe, and we had alleged in the Complaint, existed through the upper echelons of the church to coordinate not reporting sexual abuse incidents to the police or to civil authorities. To keep that information compartmentalized within the church so that other church members, church families attending the church wouldn’t know about incidences within their ranks. So you know our focus was on the conspiracy that we alleged is today even ongoing. So most of the instances that the church learned about even in the past 18 months have never been reported to the authorities.
The alleged “conspiracy” is comprised of two parts in this answer. First, church leaders deciding not to notify police or civil authorities about sex abusers. Second, church officials deciding not to tell church members about sex abusers. It’s not complicated.
The SGM Board of Directors has emphatically stated on two occasions that not a shred of evidence exists to shows a cover up or conspiracy of any kind.
“Our careful review of the allegations to date has not produced any evidence of any cover-up or conspiracy.” (Statement by SGM Regarding the Amended Complaint Filed May 14, 2013)
“Let us reiterate that our review of the allegations has not produced any evidence of any cover-up or conspiracy.” (SGM Board: Update on the Amended Civil Lawsuit, May 20, 2013)
You always have to define terms when witnessing to people in the cults. For example, when Mormon’s and Jehovah Witnesses tell you they believe Jesus is God and that he died for your sins. What they don’t explain is what they mean by “God” and “died for your sins.” Their definitions are completely different than the orthodox view of Christ’s deity and atonement. They use the theological language of evangelicalism but with different meanings in order to deceive others into thinking they are Christians.
The Directors on the Board are imitating the cultists. They are not using the legal definition for “conspiracy” as found in the lawsuit or as explained by Bill O’Neil. They mean something like the Defendants never had a meeting where they intentionally decided to lie to law enforcement, do all in their power to cover up sex crimes, and actively deceive church members into believing there were no abusers at work in their midst. Using that kind of definition they can deny “any cover-up or conspiracy.” But that is not the meaning of the words in the Complaint. They are trying to deceive just like the cultists.
I said in my opening paragraph, “C.J. Mahaney, Joshua Harris, Gary Ricucci, Grant Layman and others conspired to cover up his alleged crimes.” That simply means C.J., Joshua, Gary, Grant and others decided not to report the alleged crimes after discussing the possibility. In so doing, they “covered up” the alleged crimes by keeping the police and DHHS in the dark. That’s a legal conspiracy.
Complaint 161 in the case of Grace Goe says the same thing.
161. Defendant Layman and his co-conspirators again failed to report the abuse, and instead continue to assist the wealthy father in avoiding any consequences for his ongoing abuse of his children.
The factual allegations surrounding the case with Grace Goe provide overwhelming evidence of a “cover-up or conspiracy.” You only need ask a couple questions to prove or disprove a conspiracy.
Did C.J., Joshua, Gary, Grant and others talk about whether or not they should report the alleged physical and sexual abuse to the police and DHHS? If so, what did they decide to do? Report or not report? That’s all you need to know to prove or disprove a conspiracy. Did they talk about reporting? Did they decide not to report? If they decided together not to report then they are guilty of a conspiracy.
It is beyond absurd when the Board of Directors says, “Our careful review of the allegations to date has not produced any evidence of any cover-up or conspiracy.” They are lying. There are scores of examples but you only need Grace Goe to prove them wrong.
The Horrors of Not Reporting
C.J. is at fault in all of this. He has directed his pastoral staff not to report sex abusers going back to the 1980’s. When have the pastors of Covenant Life Church ever reported a pedophile or sex abuser operating in their midst to law enforcement or gotten help for victims by contacting DHHS? Not with David Adams. Not with Nate Morales. Not with the teenager that sexually assaulted Renee Palmer (cf. 95-96). Not with Grace Goe. Not with others. Not ever as far as I know.
Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor from The Gospel Coalition are acting like ignoramuses when they assert the evidence for a conspiracy by C.J. does not exist.
“As to the specific matter of C. J. participating in some massive cover-up, the legal evidence was so paltry (more like non-existent) that the judge did not think a trial was even warranted.” (Caron, DeYoung, Taylor, May 24, 2013)
In so doing, they are aiding and abetting someone whose unwillingness to report abusers to law enforcement has allowed abusers to continue their evil craft and devastate the lives of many victims. There has been a “massive cover-up.” When has C.J. or any of his employees ever reported physical and sexual abuse to the police and DHHS. Don, Kevin, Justin, produce the evidence. Now we are talking “so paltry (more like non-existent).”
The factual allegations against C.J. should not only be pressed in a Civil Court for damages, they should be prosecuted in a Criminal Court for jail time. Gary, Grant and Joshua should have defied C.J. when he instructed them not to involve law enforcement.
Furthermore, Carson, DeYoung and Taylor are being disingenuous. They mislead their readers when the say the Judge “did not think a trial was even warranted” based upon a supposed lack of evidence for conspiracy. That had absolutely nothing to do with her ruling. See “Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor Defend C.J. Mahaney Against Charges in SGM Sex Abuse Scandal” (May 25, 2013) for a refutation of their misguided comments.
Grace Goe and Her Siblings
Grace Goe and her older sister first went to Gary and Grant in 1996 because they “sought protection from their abusive father” (156). Not reporting the alleged abuse at the time resulting in “forcing Grace Goe to endure constant physical and sexual abuse“ (152).
Furthermore, “Grace Goe’s father [allegedly] engaged in the physical and sexual abuse towards the other children, including the male children, whose penises he repeatedly fondled” (155). There are five sons and four daughters in the Llewellyn family.[The three oldest children are daughters: Brieta, Olivia and Margaret. All three have accused their father of physical and sexual abuse.]
According to Grace Goe, “Rather than report the ongoing abuse to the secular authorities [in 1996] or take any steps to stop the abuse, Defendants informed the father that his children had reported the abuse. This led to further abuse by the father” (157)
In 2008, “Plaintiff Grace Goe again reached out the Defendants, seeking assistance in preventing the ongoing abuse of her siblings. Defendants failed to report or take any other steps to stop the ongoing and severe abuse” (158).
The Llewellyn’s left CLC in 1996 and returned in 2008. They were involved in other churches during those intervening years. Did Gary and Grant contact the pastors in those churches to tell them about the allegations of abuse?
An entire family has been at risk according to three witnesses: the housekeeper, Grace Goe, and her older sister. All testified to on-going physical and sexual abuse in the family. It is illegal not to report these alleged crimes. But worse, it is unconscionable.
How can anyone claim to be a pastor when he protects the wolves while the sheep are being devoured. Grace Goe’s childhood and youth were destroyed if these allegations are true. [That is the way Olivia described her childhood to me. It was destroyed by physical and sexual abuse.] That is damnable and C.J., Gary and Grant are partly responsible if true. It appears these men put the interests of an adult victimizer ahead of child victims. That is evil.
“Brent Detwiler has informed me that paragraph 179 of the Second Amended Complaint (Link ) against Sovereign Grace took place at Providence Community Church. The “son of a pastor” refers to another pastor on staff at the time who left, not to Matthew Wassink. The family of the abused girl contacted Susan Burke but decided not to join the lawsuit.”
Apparently C.J. Mahaney, Craig Cabaniss (regional leader at the time) and Matthew Wassink conspired together and advised the family of the abused girl not to contact law enforcement.
Detwiler stated: “I have little doubt “defendant” C.J. counseled him not to report.” “
The following are credible accusations against John Loftness filed in a class action lawsuit against Sovereign Grace Ministries, Covenant Life Church, and numerous pastors in the above mentioned organizations. These charges and detailed information regarding them and the character of John Loftness can be found in an article written by Brent Detwiler titled “John Loftness in Focus – Former Chairman of the SGM Board & Alleged Sexual Sadist.” The class action lawsuit was dismissed because a judge ruled it failed to meet Statute of Limitations restrictions.
Victim: Jessica Roberts-Thomas
Location: Covenant Life School – Separate Room with a Window
Alleged Abuser: John Loftness, Unknown Man
86. Another victim of the Individual Defendants’ ongoing conspiracy and Institutional Defendants’ gross negligence is Plaintiff Jessica Roberts-Thomas.
87. During the 1983/1984 school year, Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas was five years old and in kindergarten. At that time, Defendant Loftness was serving as the School principal as well as serving as a pastor in CLC. Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas was in kindergarten at the school, with [Stephen] Griney as her teacher. Defendant Loftness entered the class, and took Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas out of class and to a separate room that had a window. There was a man unknown to Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas standing outside the window watching her and Defendant Loftness. Defendant Loftness directed Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas to bend over the desk and pull down her underwear. Defendant Loftness stood silently behind Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas for quite some time. Then Defendant Loftness began to beat Plaintiff with a white cord for a lengthy period of time. Defendant Loftness stopped beating Plaintiff [Roberts-Thomas] and she tried to pull up her underwear. Defendant Loftness directed her not to do so, and walked away, leaving Plaintiff there for quite some time. Defendant Loftness returned, and began hitting Plaintiff again with the white cord. Defendant Loftness then inserted the white cord into her vagina.
Victim: Jessica Roberts-Thomas
Location: Covenant Life School – Empty Class Room
Alleged Abuser: John Loftness
89. During the 1983/1984 school year, Defendant Loftness pulled Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas out of class as the class was learning to read. Defendant Loftness brought her into an empty class room, and directed her to pull her underwear down and lie across a desk. Defendant Loftness beat Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas repeatedly with a plastic cord. Defendant Loftness stopped beating, and Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas heard him unzip his zipper. Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas cannot presently recall what happened after that point.
Victims: Jessica Roberts-Thomas, Heather Thompson Bryant, Third Unnamed Girl
Location: Covenant Life School (Aspen Hill) – Empty Room
Ages: Jessica – age 7, Heather – age 5
Alleged Abusers: John Loftness, Stephen Griney, Gary Ricucci
90. During the 1985/1986 school year, Defendant Loftness, Griney and Defendant Ricucci brought Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas into an empty room with two other girls. Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas recognized the girls, one of whom was Plaintiff Thompson. (The other is not being named here to protect her privacy.) Defendants directed the girls to strip off their underwear, and lay across desks. Defendant Loftness beat Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas on her bare buttocks. Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas heard the unnamed girl crying, and saw Griney hitting her on her bare buttocks. Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas turned over her shoulder to look for Plaintiff Thompson, and realized Defendant Ricucci had taken her out of the room. Defendant Loftness continued to beat Plaintiff Thomas-Roberts’ bare buttocks, and then he inserted his fingers into her vagina.
Victim: Jessica Roberts-Thomas
Location: Covenant Life Sunday School (Magruder High School)
Timeframe: Likely 1985/1986
Age: Likely age 7
Alleged Abuser: John Loftness
91. On one Sunday, Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas was attending Sunday School (then held at Magruder High School) when Defendant Loftness arrived and told the Sunday School teacher that he needed to take Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas. Defendant Loftness took Plaintiff down a hallway, and began to hit her, and then fondle her vagina. Defendant Loftness told Plaintiff that she needed to “learn to be good” and that he “loves” her. Defendant Loftness told her it is “her fault” but that he is going to help her “learn to be good.” Defendant Loftness hit Plaintiff again, and then walked her back to Sunday School. Just before permitting her to enter the class, Defendant Loftness told her that she is being “very good” and cannot tell anyone what occurred or she would “get in trouble.”
Victim: Jessica Roberts-Thomas
Location: Covenant Life Sunday School (Magruder High School)
Timeframe: Around 1988
Age: Around 10
Alleged Abuser: John Loftness
93. In or around 1988, Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas was attending Sunday School (then at Magruder High School). Defendant Loftness called her over into a hallway, and began to fondle Plaintiff Roberts-Thomas’ vagina. Defendant Loftness explained he was going to teach her things she needed to know, and took Plaintiffs’ hand and began to rub it on his penis.
Victims: Heather Thompson Bryant, Two Other Girls
Complaints: 21, 59
Location: Covenant Life School (Aspen Hill) – Room in School
Alleged Abusers: John Loftness, Stephen Griney, a Third Person
21. Defendant John Loftness resides at 3005 Arden Forest Lane, Bowie, MD 20716-3821. He served as Chairman of the Board of SGM until he recently stepped down. Defendant Loftness abused Plaintiffs Thompson and Roberts-Thomas, and is a member of the ongoing conspiracy.
59. On one occasion during the 1985/1986 school year, Defendant Loftness, Griney and a third person isolated Plaintiff Thompson along with two other girls attending the school. Defendants took the children to a room within the school, and directed them to take off their underwear. Defendant Loftness pulled a plastic rod along Plaintiff Thompson’s left leg and through her vagina. He then began to hit her bottom.