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Granbury, TX – Youth pastor Luke Cunningham, 41-year-old from Granbury, Texas, was arrested on June 19, 2024, near Lubbock, TX, on charges of sexually assaulting a minor.

TX Youth Pastor Arrested After Allegations of Child Sex Abuse

Cunningham faces two counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of aggravated sexual assault, according to online records. The allegations stem from accusations of inappropriate conduct with a minor at another church.

Church’s Response to Youth Pastor’s Arrest

Lakeside Baptist Church in Granbury, where Cunningham served as student minister, learned of the accusations on June 2, 2024. The church immediately suspended Cunningham and conducted an internal investigation. Within days, they found enough evidence to terminate his employment and reported their findings to law enforcement.

Accused Previously Employed at Other Churches Across Texas

Before his role at Lakeside Baptist, Cunningham worked as a student pastor at Turning Point Church in Lubbock from 2010 to 2016. Turning Point Church has asked anyone with information about incidents involving Cunningham to contact the police.

Cunningham has also served at North Forth Worth Baptist Church and Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX.

Safeguarding Measures to Prevent Sexual Abuse at Lakeside Baptist Church

Lakeside Baptist Church announced plans to improve their safeguarding procedures. They intend to implement a more rigorous hiring process and advocate for a Southern Baptist Convention database of offenders. The church emphasized their commitment to encouraging national leaders to identify perpetrators in churches and prevent such incidents from happening again.

As the investigation continues, authorities urge anyone with relevant information to come forward.

Legal Rights and Accountability in Clergy Abuse Cases

In the aftermath of the arrest of former Granbury youth pastor Luke Cunningham on charges of sexually assaulting a minor, questions arise about the legal rights of survivors and the accountability of religious institutions. To address these concerns, we spoke with Anjali Nigam, a seasoned Texas clergy abuse lawyer, who provided valuable information on the legal avenues available to survivors and the responsibilities of churches in preventing such tragic incidents.

Laurence Banville, Esq.: What legal recourse do survivors of sexual abuse by youth pastors have in Texas?

Anjali Nigam, Esq.: Survivors have several legal options. They can pursue criminal charges against the abuser, which is handled by the state. Additionally, they can file civil lawsuits against the perpetrator and potentially the church or organization that employed them.

Banville: How can negligent parties be held accountable in these cases?

Nigam: Churches and religious organizations have a duty to protect minors in their care. If they failed to conduct proper background checks, ignored warning signs, or didn’t report suspicions of abuse, they could be held liable for negligence. This can include financial compensation for the survivor’s damages, including medical expenses, therapy costs, and pain and suffering.

Banville: Are there any time limitations for filing such lawsuits?

Nigam: Texas has extended the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. Survivors now have until their 48th birthday to file a civil lawsuit, which gives them more time to process their trauma and seek justice.

Banville: What advice would you give to survivors considering legal action?

Nigam: I would urge survivors to speak with an experienced clergy abuse attorney who can guide them through their options. It’s important to gather evidence, report the abuse to law enforcement, and seek support from mental health professionals. Remember, the legal system is here to protect survivors and hold abusers and negligent institutions accountable.

Support and Legal Guidance Available

If you or a loved one has been affected by similar incidents, it is important to know that support and legal guidance are available. Our team is dedicated to helping survivors navigate their legal options and hold negligent parties accountable. For a free consultation, please contact us. We are here to assist you in seeking the justice and support you deserve.


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