Muncie Pastor Faces Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

By Douglas Walker
Star Press

August 30, 2008

Family sues local pastor, church over alleged sexual misdeeds

MUNCIE - A couple and their five children have filed a lawsuit against a Muncie pastor, his church and Ontario Systems, where he also works, alleging the clergyman sexually abused the children.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Delaware Circuit Court 1, targets Matthew Kidd, pastor at Freedom Point Apostolic Church (formerly known as the United Pentecostal Church), 6460 E. Jackson St.

Named as defendants along with Kidd and Ontario Systems, where Kidd works as a product director, are the national and state organizations of the United Pentecostal Church.

Kidd's accusers, including the parents, are not identified by name in the lawsuit, instead referred to as John and Jane Doe and children John Doe II through VI. Judge Marianne Vorhees granted a request from the family's attorney, P. Gregory Cross, to pursue their case under "fictitious names."

A motion from Cross said allowing "litigation under pseudonym" would prevent "the humiliation and distress already visited upon (the children from being) intensified."

When contacted, Kidd said he could not discuss the lawsuit.

"I cannot speak to you," he said. "I'm sorry."

The lawsuit alleges Kidd "utilized his position of trust" as the family's pastor "to sexually molest and exploit (the five children) at various times and places, to the permanent damage of each..."

The pastor is also accused of using his position at the church "to induce the plaintiff's children to participate in various activities and accompany him on various trips under false pretenses," where he "was able to exploit their vulnerability and perpetrate his heinous acts on them." The alleged misconduct is purported to have occurred until December 2006, when the family ended its affiliation with the church.

No criminal charges related to the allegations have been filed.

"It's still an open investigation," Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney said. "We're continuing to look into the matter."

McKinney said his office had requested "a number of items to be followed up on" by investigating police agencies.

The suit names Ontario Systems as a co-defendant based on allegations the Muncie-based company failed "to supervise and monitor" Kidd or prevent him from "using those facilities to conduct his illegal activities."

Ontario spokesman Heather Taylor said Thursday the company had "not received any notification of such a lawsuit."

Contact metro editor Douglas Walker at 213-5851.



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