Two women accuse North Love Baptist Church youth leader of sexual abuse

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — North Love Baptist Church is facing three lawsuits by women who claim they were sexually abused by men at the church.

The first suit was filed by “Sarah,” who claimed, in 2004, when she was 15-years-old, she was abused by a man named John Neese.

A new lawsuit filed in Winnebago County on October 18, 2021 claims a youth counselor named John Pierson sexually abused her between 2003 and 2005, when she was 13-years-old.

The suit claims Pastor Paul Kingsbury was notified but instead of reporting the abuse, advised the victim to see a counselor within the church.

Kingsbury has since resigned.

The victim says another teen girl went to see the counselor, but neither the counselor or Kingsbury reported the abuse to law enforcement.

She also stated in the lawsuit that Kingsbury did not remove Pierson from the church, school and other church-run programs.

At the time of the abuse, the suit explains that North Love Baptist was required by law to report any abuse allegations.

The woman is suing her alleged abuser for “a sum in excess of $50,000” for injuries and damages from the alleged abuser on three counts.

North Love Baptist Church is also being sued for “a sum in excess of $50,000” on two counts. Plus North Love Christian School for “a sum in excess of $50,000” on two counts. And Reformers Unanimous for “a sum in excess of $50,000” on two counts.

A third lawsuit by another woman, filed on October 21, 2021, claims the church was negligent and lead to her sexual abuse.

That third lawsuit claims the Church should have been aware of alleged previous abuse and taken action to prevent future abuse. That lawsuit is asking for “a sum in excess of $50,000” for injuries and damages from the alleged abuser on three counts.

That third lawsuit continues to ask for “a sum in excess of $50,000” in two counts against North Love Baptist Church.

Plus “a sum in excess of $50,000” in two counts against North Love Christian School.

That third lawsuit continues to ask for “a sum in excess of $50,000” in two counts against Reformer’s Unanimous International.

CORRECTION: The story headline originally identified a person accused of abuse as a pastor. The person in the lawsuit is identified as “youth group leader”, “deacon” and “lay minister” among many titles, but not “pastor”.

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