Paul Brewer v. The Brooklyn Tabernacle

520639/2021 – Kings County Supreme Court

The plaintiff, Paul Brewer, alleges that he was sexually abused and assaulted by a yet-to-be-named perpetrator who was on staff as a pastor at The Brooklyn (Gospel) Tabernacle, when he was around the ages of 3-7, during the years 1975-1979. Brewer claims that these acts of sexual abuse and assault occurred at the church, and possibly other locations, and that his mother reported the abuse to employees of the church.

Since this is a lawsuit against the church, as opposed to an individual perpetrator, Brewer wants to hold the organization accountable as a whole, for the church leadership’s knowledge of the alleged abuse, its negligence to:

  • Properly handle the abuse
  • Report to civil authorities, Child Protective Services
  • Allow for an investigation to take place by those authorities
  • Fire the perpetrator from his job
  • Ensure the perpetrator no longer had access to children on the church property or at any church event, at any time
  • Alert the church body since other children may have been harmed
  • Train staff, employees, volunteers in the prevention of child abuse, and how to properly handle and report it, when allegations do surface

Below are some quotes from the lawsuit original complaint, with some added emphasis. Click the link at the bottom of the page to view all case files submitted so far, including the church response to the original complaint. Their response is essentially a denial of the allegations, and a request to dismiss the case.

The hope is for the case to proceed, for a full, thorough investigation to take place, and for the TRUTH – no matter what it is, no matter how terrible it is – to be brought to light.

“Plaintiff, PAUL BREWER, by and through undersigned counsel, respectfully shows to this Court and alleges as follows…. The Plaintiff, when he was a minor, was sexually abused and assaulted while in the care, custody or presence of Defendant.” (Document #2, p. 1, paragraph 1)

“…Plaintiff’s abuser, a pastor at MEGACHURCH, was an agent, servant, and/or employee of MEGACHURCH, and under the supervision and control of MEGACHURCH.” (p. 2, paragraph 4)

“…Defendant MEGACHURCH owed a duty to exercise reasonable care in the hiring, retention, and supervision of pastor(s) of MEGACHURCH, including PERPETRATOR, and the duty to otherwise provide a safe environment for Plaintiff.” (p. 3, paragraph 13)

“From approximately 1975 to 1979, when Plaintiff was approximately three (3) to seven (7) years old, Plaintiff was sexually abused and assaulted by PERPETRATOR and unknown adult men. The acts of sexual abuse and assault perpetrated against Plaintiff by PERPETRATOR took place in, but not limited to, Kings County, New York.” (p. 4, paragraph 22)

“Upon information and belief, PERPETRATOR was, at all times relevant and material hereto, a serial sexual predator who sexually abused and assaulted Plaintiff and other minors during his time as pastor, clergy, agent and/or employee of MEGACHURCH.” (p. 5, paragraph 25)

“Plaintiff’s mother verbally reported sexual abuse and assault committed by PERPETRATOR, to one or more agents and/or employees of Defendant. No further action was taken by Defendant, no investigation was conducted, and the sexual assault and abuse of Plaintiff continued.” (p. 5, paragraph 26)

“…the Defendant provided PERPETRATOR unfettered access to Plaintiff and gave PERPETRATOR the opportunity to commit foreseeable acts of child sexual abuse or assault.” (p. 6, paragraph 31)

“Given Defendant’s constructive and/or actual knowledge of PERPETRATOR’s dangerous sexual propensities, as described above, Defendant breached its duty to protect Plaintiff by allowing PERPETRATOR to serve as pastor and granting him unfettered access to children engaged in church-related activities, despite such knowledge of his dangerous sexual propensities, and by failing to institute any supervision of PERPETRATOR’s contacts with children, and failing to address and/or correct PERPETRATOR’s known inappropriate contacts with parishioners, including children. (p. 7, paragraph 38)

“At all times relevant and material hereto, the Defendant concealed its knowledge that pastors, specifically PERPETRATOR, were unsafe.” (p. 8, paragraph 44)

“…Defendants acted with reckless disregard for the safety of others, including Plaintiff, or knowingly or intentionally, in concert with PERPETRATOR to retain PERPETRATOR in ministry with unfettered access to children.” (p. 9, paragraph 52)

“Defendant MEGACHURCH knew or should have known that Plaintiff was being sexually abused at MEGACHURCH, and during parish activities and failed to terminate the perpetrators of the sexual abuse, namely PERPETRATOR, or otherwise failed to provide a safe environment for Plaintiff. Plaintiff was sexually assaulted and abused after Defendant MEGACHURCH knew or should have known that Plaintiff was being sexually abused.” (p. 10, paragraph 59)