Family Settles Youth Pastor Abuse Case

By Chris Bristol
Yakima Herald-Republic [Yakima WA]
January 20, 2007

The parents of a teenager who was molested by her youth pastor have settled a federal lawsuit against a Yakima church.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Yakima was settled for an undisclosed sum in November, according to court records. Attorneys involved in the case would not discuss the settlement Friday.

The case had been set for trial in April. It was filed a year ago against the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, a nonprofit religious corporation based in California and parent organization of West Valley Foursquare.

Also named as a defendant was William J. Hogan, a former West Valley Foursquare youth pastor, as well as his wife, Heather.

The lawsuit was sealed from the outset by U.S. District Judge Lonny Suko at the request of the church's lawyers.

However, subsequent motions and pleadings in the case made it clear the lawsuit stemmed from the same sexual-abuse allegations that landed Hogan, 31, in Yakima County Superior Court.

In that case, Hogan was accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl he knew from church in 2001 and 2002.

The allegations first surfaced in 2004. In September 2005, Hogan pleaded guilty to second-degree molestation and third-degree child rape. He was given a suspended sentence of 41 months in prison contingent upon successful treatment in a sex-offender treatment program.

By then Hogan was no longer working for the church. He was fired after the allegations first came to light, according to church officials.

A lawyer for the Foursquare church, E. Pennock Gheen of Seattle, declined to discuss the lawsuit Friday. He said the terms of the settlement were confidential.

The lawyer for the teen's parents, Chris Tait of Yakima, also declined to discuss the lawsuit.

The Hogans' lawyer, Steve Goldstein of Seattle, was out of his office Friday and could not be reached for comment.

• Chris Bristol can be reached at 577-7748 or at


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