Investigation Reveals Immanuel Reformed Presbyterian Church Negligent in Reporting Sexual Abuse
*** January 12, 2022 UPDATE ***
Pastor Jared Olivetti has been placed on leave pending the results of an ecclesiastical trial related to allegations that the pastor mishandled the church’s response to molestation claims according to media reports.
The Indianapolis Star newspaper investigated a series of molestation claims reported within the Immanuel Reformed Presbyterian Church in West Lafayette, Indiana perpetrated by a teenage boy who was revealed to be a relative of the head pastor of the church. Initial allegations of sexual abuse involving this boy were brought to Pastor Jared Olivetti in October 2019. However, Olivetti did not recuse himself after receiving this report but instead was found to have interfered with the investigation. Documents and an audio recording show that Olivetti even brazenly told the pastor of another nearby church that the sexual abuse allegations would not be reported to higher authorities within the church. Journalists compiled a total of at least 15 separate reports of molestation of church youth at the hands of the teenage boy between October 2019 and January 2021.
Delays in reporting sexual abuse to law enforcement and delays in communicating to the parishioners of the church have left children unprotected. At this time, Olivetti and church elders involved in the delayed reporting of the abuse are the subject of a second church investigation. Criminal charges have not been filed against Pastor Olivetti and he continues to preside over the church at this time. Unfortunately, we see this type of misbehavior on a regular basis in a multitude of churches of all denominations..
Sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy and trusted advisors within the church community can happen in any faith. Shame, fear, and guilt mixed with religion can be a potent force that intimidates and prevents survivors from speaking up about sexual abuse. It is important to encourage survivors to report abuse so they can get help dealing with the trauma that is often suffered.
If you, your child, or someone else you know is a victim of sexual abuse or molestation, contact us. Our attorneys have helped many families get compensation to pay for the help they need in order to heal after sexual abuse. We understand the sensitive nature of this type of lawsuit and prioritize our clients’ privacy and trust while fighting to get them the compensation they need to assist them in healing and coping from sexual abuse.
Learn more about how our sexual abuse litigation team helps sexual abuse survivors in their journey for justice and healing here.