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Abuse Guardians
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San Diego, CA – In a disturbing case, a former church choir group leader has pleaded guilty to committing lewd acts on a 15-year-old girl who was a member of his choir.

Choir Group Leader Admits to Sexually Assaulting 15-Year-Old Girl

Rafael Magana, 28, admitted in San Diego Superior Court on Monday, April 29, 2024, to one count of lewd acts on a child. The incident occurred in November 2021 when Magana, who was 25 years old at the time, drove the teenage victim to and from a baby shower.

Victory Outreach Church Member Sexually Abused By Church Staff Member

After the baby shower, police say Magana drove the girl to the Paradise Hills neighborhood, where he parked the car on Reo Drive and sexually assaulted her. He then drove the victim back home.

The victim, who was a member of the choir at Victory Outreach Church in San Ysidro, did not report the assault to authorities until March of last year. Police described “a confluence of factors” that led to the delayed reporting.

CA Church Choir Leader Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Minor

Magana was arrested in August 2022 and has remained in custody since then. He now faces up to three years in state prison and will be required to register as a sex offender.
This disturbing case highlights the betrayal of trust that can occur when those in positions of authority abuse their power. The guilty plea brings some measure of accountability, but the trauma experienced by the victim will undoubtedly have lasting effects.

Holding Churches Accountable for Sexual Abuse by Choir Leaders

In the wake of the disturbing case of a former church choir group leader pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage choir member, it’s important to examine the legal rights and options available for victims. To provide insight into this complex issue, we sat down with Bobby Thompson, an experienced California clergy abuse lawyer, to discuss how victims can hold negligent churches accountable.

Attorney Laurence Banville: Thank you for joining us, Bobby. As an experienced California clergy abuse lawyer, what legal rights are available for those sexually abused by a church choir leader?

Attorney Bobby Thompson: Victims of sexual abuse by a church leader have several legal options. They may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and possibly even the church for negligence in supervising or retaining the abuser.

Banville: How can victims hold negligent parties accountable in cases like this?

Thompson: To hold a church accountable, victims must prove the religious organization knew or should have known about the abuser’s dangerous propensities and failed to take reasonable steps to protect children. This can be done through the discovery of the church’s records and by identifying other victims. Victims may also be able to recover damages for the church’s negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of the abuser.

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

Thompson: I would encourage victims to consult with an experienced clergy abuse attorney who can evaluate their case and explain their legal options. It’s important to act quickly, as there are time limits for filing lawsuits. An attorney can also help victims navigate the complex legal system and ensure their rights are protected throughout the process.

Banville: Thank you, Bobby, for providing this valuable information. Sexual abuse by those in positions of trust is a devastating betrayal, but victims do have legal recourse and support available.

Seeking Justice and Healing for Clergy Abuse Survivors

If you or a loved one have been the victim of sexual abuse by a church leader or other authority figure, it’s crucial to know that you have legal rights and options. An experienced clergy abuse attorney can review your case, explain your rights, and guide you through the process of seeking justice and accountability.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation. With the right legal support, you can take the first steps towards healing and ensuring that no one else suffers the same devastating betrayal of trust. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you move forward and find the justice you deserve.


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