A Fulton County family is suing the Mormon Church for the circumstances it alleges led to the sexual assault of a young girl.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday at the Peoria Federal Court.
The plaintiff says Mormon Church member Mark Thomas molested a 4-year-old girl about two years ago when her parents were worshipping at a Nauvoo temple.
Peoria’s Janssen Law Center claims the Church allowed Thomas and his wife to baby-sit even though at that time, Thomas was registered as a sex offender in Illinois.
The suit accuses the Church of knowing Thomas’ prior criminal acts of sexual assaults, but then reinstated his status within the church after excommunicating him.
According to the plaintiff as a result of the Church’s negligence, Thomas assaulted the girl.
Now the plaintiff says the girl suffers physical injury, contracting a lifelong incurable condition.
Ralph Davis represents the plaintiff. In the suit, Davis says the girl’s parents did not know about the incident until three months later in February 2003.
At that time the girl complained of urinary problems. She was taken to Graham Hospital in Canton where doctors discovered she had contracted genital herpes.
The Fulton County State’s Attorney has not filed charges against Thomas. John Clark was not available for comment.
The suit alleges that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services uncovered Thomas had sexually assaulted the girl back in 2002.
DCFS says it cannot comment on the case without knowing the girl’s last name.
Davis says he cannot release the girl’s name but the Church now has 20 days to reply.
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