Lawsuit alleges sexual abuse by pastor

Mennonite World Review

August 10, 2020

By Tim Huber and Mennonite World Review

A female member of a Mennonite Brethren congregation in Bakersfield, Calif., has filed a lawsuit alleging a former pastor abused his position as a marriage counselor to make sexual advances.

The woman, who is not identified, filed a complaint July 22 in Kern County Superior Court requesting a jury trial and financial damages from Bridge Bible Church. In addition to naming the church as a defendant, the document names Eric Simpson, former pastor of transformation, and 50 congregational leaders, who are not identified.

The complaint alleges the plaintiff and her husband approached the church’s counseling center in 2016. Simpson served as head family and marriage counselor, and the three people met every other week for roughly nine months.

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