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A longtime Southern California pastor has been arrested for the second time in connection to the sexual abuse of seven children. Authorities say, John Rodgers McFarland, 67, molested at least seven children between the ages of 5 years old and 15. He faces seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under 14 years old and four counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor between 14 and 15. If convicted, he would spend 179 years in prison, according to KTLA5.
Were you or a loved one sexually abused by pastor John Rodgers McFarland? Our experienced personal injury lawyers are here to help. We believe you. You are not alone. Thanks to California's strong tradition of civil law, your family has powerful legal options. If you or your child was abused, you may be eligible to pursue a private civil lawsuit.
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Our sexual abuse litigation team is led by Bobby Thompson, Esq., who has gained valuable insight into the criminal justice system while working every day to prosecute dangerous offenders and promote the rights of survivors. Since moving into private practice, his dedication to the rights of survivors has only grown as he now represents sexual abuse survivors in private claims.
California's civil code empowers sexual abuse survivors and their loved ones to pursue justice in the wake of sexual abuse. We believe that you deserve justice. Your family may be able to file a lawsuit against both pastor McFarland himself and the church whose responsibility it was to oversee his behavior. In a private civil lawsuit, your family can secure valuable financial compensation to support your recovery. Justice is possible. We can help you get it.
John Rodgers McFarland was initially arrested in December 2018 after a young girl came forward to report abuse to the Fountain Valley Police Department. During their investigation, police uncovered evidence suggesting that there were other victims. At this time, authorities have identified at least six additional alleged victims, including a child of 5 years old.
Police believe that McFarland abused the children between 2003 and 2017 while he served at several different churches in Orange and San Diego counties. McFarland's most recent appointment was as the head pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton, where he has served since 2016. Between 2011 and 2016, he served as a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach. Prior, he served as senior pastor at Fountain Valley United Methodist Church between 1988 and 2016, and before that as the senior pastor at Calexico United Methodist Church in San Diego between 1981 and 1988.
At the beginning of his career, McFarland worked as a youth pastor at Encinitas' San Dieguito Methodist Church, serving there for about three years, during which he also attended several Christian youth camps. During his career, he has also served as a volunteer chaplain for the police and fire departments in Fountain Valley.