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Man sues Mennonite church over alleged abuse

Coeur d’Alene Press / 2.12.16

COEUR d’ALENE — A lawsuit filed Wednesday claims a child was sexually abused by his father, while leaders of a Mennonite church in Bonners Ferry failed to protect the boy.

The lawsuit was filed late Wednesday by attorneys with the Coeur d’Alene firm of James, Vernon and Weeks. It states Clayton Peaster was 11 when the alleged molestation occurred. He is now 27.

The defendants named in the suit are Mt. View Mennonite Church, Inc., the National Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, and Clayton’s adoptive parents, David Peaster and his wife, Cynthia Peaster.

During a press conference held Thursday at the firm’s office, Clayton’s attorney, Craig Vernon, said the child was adopted by the Peasters who both belonged to Mt. View Mennonite Church. The Kansas-based Church of God in Christ Mennonite, commonly known as the Holdeman Mennonites, is the parent organization of Mt. View.

Vernon went over details of the suit, which alleges that David Peaster sexually molested Clayton and an older boy several times over a four-year period. The suit claims during that time, Clayton told a deacon in the church that he was being molested.

Read more at the Coeur d’Alene Press here.

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