"My Trusty Gavel" by Brian Turner / CC BY 2.0

The Village Church sued for more than $1 million over alleged abuse at church camp

Jul 30, 2019

By Emily McFarlan Miller

A young woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a youth minister at a church camp is suing the Village Church for more than $1 million for gross negligence and the emotional distress the alleged abuse has caused her.

According to the lawsuit obtained by Religion News Service, the Village Church’s former associate children’s minister, Matthew Tonne, allegedly sexually violated the woman, identified only as Jane Doe One, when she was an 11-year-old girl at a 2012 program run by the Dallas-area megachurch at the Mount Lebanon Kids Camp in Texas.

Tonne had left a meeting of adult leaders, both male and female, in a meeting area in the same cabin where the girl slept — a violation of the church’s policies and procedures, according to the suit.

That’s when the suit alleges Tonne assaulted the girl as she lay in her bed. It claims he still was wearing the yellow T-shirt indicating he was a camp counselor when the alleged abuse occurred.

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