‘Permanently Traumatized’: Lawsuit Alleges Ala. Church Enabled Sexual Abuser

The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

October 4, 2022

By Anne Stych

A civil lawsuit filed on behalf of three John Does claims that a church in Florence, Alabama, enabled a man who held various leadership positions there to sexually abuse them.

The civil suit follows a July criminal lawsuit in which Kelly Dale Crotts, 47, was charged with three counts of indecent exposure, two counts of child abuse with sexual motivation, and two counts of second-degree sex abuse, WHNT-TV of Huntsville reported. 

Crotts turned himself in following a grand jury indictment in the criminal case. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his trial is set to begin Oct. 17. 

The civil case, filed last week, alleges assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress/outrage, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and wantonness, deceit and misrepresentation. Cornerstone Church of Christ, where Crotts worked, also is named as a defendant in the civil action.

The suit says Crotts groomed the plaintiffs, listed as John Doe I, II and III, including giving them gifts and recognition, while presenting himself as a spiritual leader, then exposed himself to them and touched their genitals. The complaint alleges the church failed to protect them from Crotts. 

According to the court documents, the plaintiffs, minors at the time, say they were “permanently traumatized” by Crotts’ actions and the negligence of church staff who failed to protect them. The three men are seeking unspecified damages. 

This story originally appeared at MinistryWatch.