Los Angeles, CA, August 20, 2020 –(PR.com)– Two alleged child sexual abuse survivors have filed another civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Fellowship Church and related persons and entities, alleging they were repeatedly sexually assaulted by Church leaders when they were underage minors. This new lawsuit builds on the allegations of earlier lawsuits filed by three other alleged survivors filed in May 2019. The Plaintiffs in this new lawsuit, Kristina Pfeifer and Shalom Caples, allege they were sexually abused on numerous occasions as minors over several years while they were members of the Fellowship Church and religious school in North Hills, California in Los Angeles County. The Plaintiffs in this new lawsuit are represented by The Zalkin Law Firm and Lyndsey A. Gallagher, The Gallagher Law Group.
“Kristina, Shalom and the Plaintiffs in our other lawsuits are brave alleged survivors who have stepped forward to tell their stories of the alleged rampant sexual abuse suffered by what could be hundreds of children who were under the control of the Fellowship Church leaders including those at the highest level of the organization,” said Irwin Zalkin, attorney for the Plaintiffs. “According to the complaint, allegedly, this is a story of an insular communal cult in our community that was led by male pedophile predators who used their positions of power to subjugate women and prey on children, ruining their lives forever.”
According to Wikipedia, the Fellowship is also known as The Living Word Fellowship. The group was founded in South Gate, California, by John Robert Stevens in 1951. At its peak in the 1970s, the Fellowship had about 100 member congregations including the church in North Hills, CA. Fellowship oversight was centered at Shiloh, a farm and retreat site near Kalona, Iowa.
The complaint alleges three series of sexual assaults alleged of Plaintiff Shalom Caples that occurred from age 8 through her teen years by two different perpetrators who were adult church leaders. Allegedly, during this time, Shalom was under the control of church leaders while she worked doing church duties and while she was living at the church compound in Iowa. The lawsuit alleges that local and national Fellowship leaders were aware of sexually inappropriate proclivities towards children by these perpetrators and did nothing to protect her or other children.