The news is out: [MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis family says Bellevue Baptist Church did nothing to stop a 43-year-old paid volunteer coordinator at the church from sexually grooming a 15-year-old girl who volunteered at the church.
James Hook is serving a prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to sexual battery by an authority figure.
Hook admitted he had an inappropriate relationship while he worked at Bellevue Baptist Church with a 15-year-old girl.
WREG first reported on the case last year after a police officer found Hook and the girl in the back of a car under a blanket.
The girl admitted he had taken off her shirt, kissed her and touched her inappropriately.
The two described themselves to be in a father/daughter relationship, and the girl would go to Hook for advice. He also gave her a ring.
This past April, the girl’s family filed a lawsuit against Bellevue Baptist Church, saying they trusted the church to provide a safe place for their children to learn about God, but the church failed their family.
The lawsuit alleges Hook was a paid volunteer coordinator at Bellevue when he initiated contact with the girl and began grooming her, telling her how to wear her hair and what clothes to wear.
Some of the sexual abuse allegedly took place on the church’s property.
The family also alleges staff members saw Hook and the girl together leaving areas alone, but no one ever said anything or intervened.]
Did anyone expect something different from a church? That’s what they do.