Ex-Youth Pastor Accused of Abuse

By John Iwasaki
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

October 2, 2008

Man says he told church leaders

A 41-year-old Enumclaw man has accused his former youth pastor of sexually abusing him more than 20 years ago, saying the abuse continued even after he told church leaders.

In a complaint filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court, the man said David Bennett started abusing him in about 1979 when he was about 12.

The man said he told two pastors of Trinity Lutheran Church in Enumclaw about the abuse at that time, but that they took no action.

Bennett, then in his 20s, left the church two years later but the abuse continued until about 1984, the complaint said, because Bennett had been "grooming" the youth to gain control of him.

Trinity Lutheran Church officials declined to comment Wednesday.

In the early 1990s, the man told his parents about the abuse, but they apparently took no action, said his lawyer, James S. Rogers. He said his client suffers from depression and is in therapy.

The complaint was filed against the church, its regional body and its national denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The man alleges that the church failed to adopt proper procedures and policies to guard against sexual offenders and failed to properly supervise Bennett and check his background.

P-I reporter John Iwasaki can be reached at 206-448-8096 or


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