21 Oct 2010

Sexual Assault Suit Filed Against Church of God in Christ

Southern Maryland Newspapers Online - March 25, 2009

by BETHANY RODGERS | SMNO Staff writer

A woman has filed a $100 million lawsuit against a Waldorf church, claiming her son was "sexually harassed" by one of its ministers.

The woman faulted the church for the conduct of Tony Ray Malbrough, who was charged in January with criminal offenses for allegedly molesting a different child.

The victim told police that Malbrough, 44, formerly a minister of music at the New Community Church of God in Christ, sexually assaulted him on numerous occasions during keyboard lessons at Malbrough's Indian Head home, court papers show.

After the 14-year-old victim came forward, three more people reported being sexually abused by Malbrough, said Diane Richardson, police spokeswoman. Richardson didn't disclose whether the woman's son was one of the victims who reported being molested by Malbrough.

"There is sincerely no amount of money that could heal the wound for the damage that has been afflicted," wrote the woman in her civil complaint. The Independent is not identifying the woman because to do so would identify a victim of an alleged sex crime.

The woman is suing the Waldorf church for pain and suffering. Also included in the lawsuit is the national Church of God in Christ Inc.

"The New Community Church of God is responsible," wrote the woman in her complaint, adding that parents trust the church with their children. "We are not expecting that our children be violated by sex offenders whether known or unknown."

On March 10, the New Community Church of God in Christ filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The church's pastor, Willie Hunt, asked the court to dismiss the complaint because his notice didn't contain a case number or writ of summons.

Malbrough has been charged with second-degree child abuse, third-degree sex offense, two counts of fourth-degree sex offense and filming child pornography.

Hunt and the woman filing the lawsuit couldn't be reached for comment.

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