September 10, 2020
By Connie Faber
Former Bakersfield pastor, local church named as defendants
A female member of a Mennonite Brethren congregation in Bakersfield, California, has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct on the part of a former pastor and counselor.
The woman, who is not named, filed a complaint July 22, 2020, in Kern County Superior Court requesting a jury trial and financial damages. The defendants are listed as The Bridge Bible Church (BBC), former pastor Eric Simpson and 50 unnamed individual and entities.
The complaint alleges that the misconduct began when the plaintiff and her husband sought counseling for family and marital issues through BBC and met with Simpson every other week from August 2016 to May 2017. It is alleged that Simpson insisted on talking about sex and began making sexually inappropriate comments in texts and conversations after services. The complaint states that due to personal losses the plaintiff began one-on-one therapy sessions with Simpson in the summer of 2018, which is when the alleged sexual abuse began
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