http://hhpfirm.comAccording to an article on wsmv.com, a Youth Minister from a church in Lebanon, Tennessee has been arrested on multiple charges of child rape involving two young boys. The youth minister worked at the church and gained the trust of the children and their families, as reported in the article.
Tavaria Merritt, formerly the youth minister at Lebanon’s True Vine Church, allegedly used the families’ trust to allow the children to occasionally spend the night at his home under the guise of his position as youth minister.
Apart from the obvious criminal elements of this case and the prosecution of Mr. Merritt on the child rape charges, there are also civil lawsuit ramifications that will likely be involved. Similar to the cases brought against the Catholic church for abuses by priests and other staff, the question can turn to what the church knew or should have known about it’s employee and his wrongful actions.
These types of cases are very difficult to pursue and involve a subject matter that is ultimately very private. Other sexual assault victims have not stepped forward with allegations at this time and it may be limited to the victims referenced in the indictment.
These are such tragic cases and can lead to lifelong struggles for these innocent victims. To be betrayed by a person of trust is so a tragedy beyond compare. If you have any questions about legal options in such a case, please feel free to contact our office.