Former Youth Minister Charles “Chuck” Bryan Named in Sex Abuse Suit

This article courtesy of The Edumond Sun.

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By Mark Schlachtenhaufen

A local mother has filed a lawsuit against an Edmond-area church, claiming that a former youth ministry volunteer allegedly conducted an illegal sexual relationship with her underage daughter.

Filed on June 26 in Oklahoma County District Court, the lawsuit names Chisholm Creek Baptist Church, 17600 N. Western Ave., the church’s pastor Dan Maxwell and Charles “Chuck” Bryan as defendants.

Jerry Kirksey, an Edmond attorney representing the plaintiff, said the Oklahoma City Police Department is investigating the criminal allegations and court proceedings in the civil case could be scheduled during the next couple of months. The church has an Edmond mailing address, but lies within OKCPD’s jurisdiction.

Kirksey said church staff made some “bad decisions” that have had a profound affect on the victim and the victim’s family. He said the victim has not yet been able to speak to investigators.

“It has been a difficult ordeal for all of them,” Kirksey said, noting that he has advised the victim’s mother to not speak to media outlets.

When contacted by telephone Wednesday morning, Bryan declined to comment. He has been a guest at Grace Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City.

Scott Allen, Grace Rescue Mission director, said Bryan has been asked “a couple of times” to leave the shelter for violating guidelines, but since the lawsuit was filed Bryan’s behavior has been “ideal.”

“I have no reason to put him on the street,” Allen said. “What he’s being accused of took me by surprise. I’ve never witnessed anything that would lead up to that.”

Maxwell said he had been away from the office and had not yet discussed the lawsuit with attorneys handling the lawsuit. Maxwell said when the abuse allegations surfaced, the church immediately ended its relationship with Bryan.

Bryan assisted with the church’s youth ministry as a volunteer, but he was never a paid staff member or a church member, only a visitor briefly earlier this year, Maxwell said.

Maxwell declined to discuss the lawsuit further.

“We want to do the right thing,” he said.

Lawsuit background

The lawsuit alleges that Chisholm Creek Baptist Church did not ensure that children who came in contact with Bryan were properly protected. The petition states Bryan was “under the color of authority” as assistant youth director.

In October 2007, Maxwell contacted the Grace Rescue Mission in Oklahoma City requesting that the organization provide volunteers to assist with various tasks at Chisholm Creek Baptist Church, court records show. Bryan was one of the volunteers.

In January, the church hired Bryan’s son to be the youth minister, court records show. Whether the son was salaried or not, Kirksey could not say. But Charles “Chuck” Bryan became a youth ministry volunteer.

As a result, Bryan met the victim. During January, February and March Bryan allegedly “molested, assaulted, battered, and conducted an illegal sexual relationship” with the victim, the lawsuit claims.

The plaintiff claims that due to the alleged abuse the victim, a minor, “has suffered severe, permanent psychological, emotional and physical injuries … .” The victim has and will face medical expenses due to the sustained injuries, the lawsuit claims.

Kirksey said in the civil case, a jury would determine the amount of damages.

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