Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Fernando Maldonado, a former Southern Baptist minister at churches in California? Our experienced sexual abuse attorneys are here to help. Thanks to California’s strong tradition of civil law, you have powerful legal options. In some cases, survivors of sexual abuse may be eligible to pursue a private civil lawsuit.
Legal Support For Victims Of Fernando Maldonado
Fernando Maldonado served as a minister at two Southern Baptist churches in California: Morello Avenue Baptist Church in Martinez, and later, Grace Bible Church of Pleasant Hill. In April 2016, the Contra Costa County district attorney’s office charged Maldonado, at the time 32, with 12 counts of lewd acts with a minor, 10 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and 1 count of sodomy of a minor. According to police, the abuse in question occurred between September 2012 and mid-2015 and involved one victim at the church.
In 2018, Maldonado was convicted on 23 counts of child molestation, including sodomy with a minor and lewd or lascivious acts with a child. He was sentenced to 34 years in prison. Reports suggest that police caught Maldonado after his victim, identified only as Jane Doe in media reports, stepped forward to report the allegations.
Maldonado was removed from active ministry at Grace Bible Church soon after the criminal charges were revealed. He was put on indefinite suspension.
Sexual Abuse Survivors Pursue Justice
Fernando Maldonado has now been punished for his misconduct through the criminal justice system. Yet some survivors believe that justice has yet to be done. In a series of new civil lawsuits, survivors of Southern Baptist sexual abuse seek to hold the Southern Baptist Convention accountable, accusing church leadership of failing to address the scourge of sexual abuse for years.
Southern Baptist Convention Faces Crisis
The Southern Baptist Convention is struggling to handle a true sexual abuse crisis. Thanks to an enormous investigation led by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, we now understand that sexual abuse is widespread and persistent throughout Southern Baptist churches. In a shocking report, journalists from the two Texas newspapers disclosed the names of 220 Southern Baptist deacons, pastors and volunteers who have been convicted of sexual abuse and other sexual misconduct crimes over the past 20 years. At least three dozen of these men remain in active ministry at Southern Baptist churches.
In the wake of this damning report, the Southern Baptist Convention has arranged meetings to address the problem of sexual abuse. While many solutions have been proposed, no concrete actions have yet been taken. To many sexual abuse survivors, this pattern is all too familiar. Many survivors are used to inaction when it comes from the SBC.
Did Church Leaders Fail To Act On Abuse?
More than a decade ago, church leaders considered and rejected a proposal to create a national database of dangerous sexual predators. Since that time, allegations have emerged of Southern Baptist churches concealing sexual abuse cases from the secular authorities and public. In their lawsuits, survivors say the current sexual abuse crisis could only have taken place in light of the Southern Baptist Convention’s inaction.
Learn More In A Free Consultation
Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Fernando Maldonado? You have powerful legal options. In California, sexual abuse survivors are allowed to pursue justice on their own terms by filing a private civil lawsuit. You may be eligible to secure significant financial compensation.
Learn more about your legal options in a free consultation today. You can find more information at no charge and no obligation. Our experienced California sexual abuse attorneys are here to support you through this difficult time. We understand the painful and powerful emotions that sexual abuse can cause. We can help.
Contact our attorneys today to find out if you have a viable case. Our dedicated legal team is here 24/7 to answer your questions. Contact our attorneys now to learn more.