Family Sues Two Churches, Claims Child Was Not Protected From Sex Predator

Originally Published by Click2Houston

A family is suing two popular Houston churches, accusing them of failing to protect their daughter from a sexual predator working as a youth minister.

Second Baptist Church and Community of Faith were named in the lawsuit filed in a Harris County court earlier this week.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the family of a teen girl who was allegedly victimized by Chad Foster, a former youth pastor for both Second Baptist and Community of Faith.

Foster admitted to making online sexual advances to the girl. He met at her school when she was 12 years old.  He pleaded guilty to online solicitation of a minor.  Foster also pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl he also met at school in his role as youth pastor.  Foster is currently serving a five-year prison sentence.

The lawsuit claims Second Baptist Church didn’t train Foster to work with minors and knew about Foster’s sinister agenda.

“What we have here is the proverbial pedophile with the candy in his pocket,” the victim’s attorney, Cris Feldman, said.  

“Except this pedophile was sent into public schools with candy in his pocket provided by Second Baptist.  We believe the evidence will show that Second Baptist had full knowledge of what was going on. Or at least some idea of what was going on with Mr. Foster in that he lacked proper judgment in his actions around children.”

Gary Moore, a spokesperson for Second Baptist, denied the allegations and said the church’s heart aches for the victim.

“Second Baptist Church did not know of any of those allegations,” Moore said in a statement.  “If these happened and if Second had been made aware of them, we would have immediately terminated anyone involved and ensured that such conduct did not continue for one minute.

In early 2011, Foster left his job as youth minister at Second Baptist for a similar position at Community of Faith, a Cypress-area church.

The lawsuit claims officials with Community of Faith knew about Foster’s transgressions and hired him anyway.

Community of Faith’s attorney, Mike King, denied the allegations on behalf of the church.

“(Chad Foster) was provided extensive training as it relates to appropriate contact with minors by the senior pastor,” King said.  “Any allegation of a lack of training is false.”

Feldman declined to tell Local 2 what specific evidence he has to support his allegations.  He said those details will eventually be released in court.

“We have two churches that allowed sexual abuse to occur, sexual exploitation to occur with a minor,” Feldman said.  “She’s going to have ongoing counseling needs and she certainly has lost her religious innocence, her spiritual innocence, her physical innocence. The churches failed in this case.  They failed with this family.  They failed with other families and it’s time to hold them responsible.”

Cris Feldman of Feldman & Feldman Sues 2 Churches After Youth Pastor Solicits Daughter

Originally Published in The Houston Chronicle

The parents of a teenage girl are suing two well-known Houston churches, claiming the organizations were negligent by employing a youth pastor who was convicted of sexually soliciting their daughter while working there.

According to the lawsuit, filed this week in Harris County, Second Baptist Church and Community of Faith Church were careless in their supervision and hiring of 35-year-old Chad Foster, a one-time youth pastor who pleaded guilty to trying to pressure the girl into having sex using the Internet in 2011.

Both churches told KPRC-Channel 2 that they sympathize with the accuser, but denied any wrongdoing.

“Second Baptist Church did not know of any of those allegations,” church spokesman Gary Moore told KPRC on Thursday. And Mike King, attorney for Community of Faith, says, “(Foster) was provided extensive training as it relates to appropriate contact with minors by the senior pastor. Any allegation of a lack of training is false.”

The girl met Foster during her lunch hour at school, where he was able to get her involved in activities with Second Baptist. The two started a relationship as one of religious guidance, the suit states.

“This is no different than a pedophile with candy in his pocket,” said Cris Feldman, attorney in the case for the parents of the girl, now 17. “It’s just someone who worked for Second Baptist and was told to go into school lunch rooms and recruit.”

Sexual pressure

In January 2011, Foster began communicating with the girl through Facebook, telling her he was lonely. Later, Foster communicated with her using Skype, a website that allows users to make voice and video calls.

According to the suit, during video calls to the girl, “Foster would expose himself and engage in acts of self-gratification while he was in his bedroom.” He would also ask the girl to take off her clothes, talk dirty and regularly pressured her for sex, the suit states.

“He groomed her and pressured her for sex via Skype,” Feldman said.

Foster told the girl to keep their relationship a secret and that he would hurt himself if she told anyone, the suit states.

At some point, Foster began working at Community of Faith, during which time he continued to abuse the girl, the lawsuit states.

Five years in prison

In December 2011, Foster was charged with online solicitation of a minor, a little more than a month after he was charged with sexual assault of a minor in another case. In that case, the Houston Chronicle reported, Foster had sex with a 16-year-old girl he met while working as a youth pastor at Community of Faith.

He pleaded guilty to all the charges and was sentenced in 2013 to serve five years in prison.

The suit  alleges that the churches put Foster in a position that allowed him to manipulate and sexually exploit children. It also says that despite Foster not properly being trained to deal with children, Second Baptist encouraged him to foster bonds with them.

“If not for his position with Second Baptist and then Community of Faith, Foster would have been unable to victimize (the girl),” the suit states. “Second Baptist and Community of Faith are each liable for Foster’s misconduct because they promoted Foster as a qualified, trained and supervised youth pastor.”