Settlement of Royal Rangers sex abuse trial – Trials Information Center Blog

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The Assemblies of God recently settled a sexual assault lawsuit brought by a group of men who claimed they were abused as children while attending the Royal Rangers Christian youth programme. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. This case marks an ongoing trend in which various religious organizations have had to settle lawsuits for clergy sexual abuse in one of their youth programs.


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About the Royal Rangers

the Royal Rangers Activity-based church ministry for boys of all ages. It’s kind of like a Christian boy scout program. The Royal Rangers are affiliated with the Assemblies of God Church. The stated mission of the Royal Rangers is “to evangelize, equip and empower the next generation of Christian men and lifelong servant leaders”. The Royal Rangers have chartered parties in several states, including Oregon, Pennsylvania, California, Idaho and North Carolina.

The adult mentors who participate in the Royal Rangers program are church members or ministers. Individual churches assume the obligation to select mentors and oversee their activities with minor children in the program.

Sexual abuse charges against the Royal Rangers

In August 2021The Assemblies of God has settled 2 separate lawsuits for an undisclosed amount with a group of Oregon men who participated in the Royal Rangers program as children.

The first lawsuit was filed in 2016 by 3 plaintiffs who alleged that Assembly of God pastor Todd Scott Clark and Royal Rangers leader Ralph Wade Gantt sexually assaulted them in the 1980s. claimed the abuse took place while they were attending Royal Rangers activities and events. Both Clark and Gantt were convicted of crimes of sexual assault in 1988 for incidents that were unrelated to the Royal Rangers.

Two years later, in 2018, another group of 6 men in Oregon filed a lawsuit against the Assemblies of God making almost identical allegations. These men claimed to have been sexually abused and raped by Todd Clark and Ralph Gantt as children. The alleged assaults happened while the boys were attending sleepovers as part of the Royal Rangers scheme. The lawsuit claims the boys informed church leaders, but their claims were summarily dismissed and nothing was done.

Both of these lawsuits sought to hold the church liable for sexual abuse under an agency theory. Since the church was responsible for the Royal Ranger program and supervised the mentors participating in the program, it could be held legally liable in a civil suit for acts of abuse committed during the program. The 2018 lawsuit was made possible by recent changes to Oregon law that extended the statute of limitations for bringing lawsuits like this involving childhood sexual abuse.

Another Royal Rangers mentor charged with sexual abuse

In September 2020, Michael Schechterly, a Perry County judge in Pennsylvania who was also a mentor in the Royal Rangers program, was charged with sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy. Schechterly met his abuse victim while on the Royal Rangers scheme, although it is unclear whether the incidents of sexual abuse occurred at Royal Rangers events or programmes.

Verdicts and Settlement in Other Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Although the amount of the recent settlement in the Royal Rangers sex abuse lawsuits has not been disclosed, we can get a good idea of ​​what the settlement amount might have been by looking at the payouts in the abuse cases. previous sex.

2021, Florida: Verdict of $6,000,000. A 17-year-old girl has accused her high school teacher of sexual harassment and abuse. She alleged that school employees had received complaints about the teacher’s sexual predation. The girl also alleged that the school board failed to investigate these complaints and protect students from its abuse. A jury awarded him $6,000,000.

2019, Illinois: verdict of $2,500,000. A woman has accused her former kindergarten teacher of sexual abuse. She claimed her abuse had left her in severe emotional distress. The woman alleged that the school district failed to check the teacher’s background, failed to supervise him, failed to enforce sexual abuse prevention policies, prohibited him from being alone with her and had not trained students and employees in the signs, prevention and reporting of sexual abuse. The jury awarded $2,500,000.

2019, Florida: Verdict of $4,500,000. A woman has accused a United Methodist minister and a licensed mental health counselor of sexual abuse. She reported that he manipulated her into having sex during counseling sessions. The woman claimed that the abuse caused her to suffer from depression, severe emotional distress, anxiety, humiliation, difficulty concentrating, nightmares, eating difficulties, post-traumatic distress disorder and suicidal thoughts. She alleged negligent retention against The United Methodist Church. The jury awarded $4,500,000.

2019, California: $1,975,000 settlement. A woman accused two police officers of sexual assault. She reported that this happened after they arrested her for drug possession. The woman claimed that they took her to a secluded place and forced her to have sex. She also claimed that they threatened to imprison her if she turned them in. The woman made charges of sexual assault, sexual assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false incarceration. This case resulted in a settlement of $1,975,000.

2015, Minnesota: $8,166,000 verdict. A man has accused a Catholic priest of sexual abuse. The man said the abuse happened while traveling when he was 13. He also alleged that the local diocese knew about the priest’s misconduct and failed to protect minors against him. The jury awarded $8,166,000.

Contact us about sexual abuse lawsuits

Call our sexual abuse lawyers at 800-553-8082 for a free consultation or try reach out online or by text at 410-835-4103.

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