Saturday, October 08, 2005


Family sues pastor accused of molestation

Chicago - A South Side pastor charged with molesting a young church member for several years is now being sued by his alleged victim.

The Rev. Bennie Chapman is the target of a suit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court seeking unspecified damages due to years of sexual abuse.

The victim says she came in contact with Chapman because his wife, Elaine, was her baby-sitter.

Chapman founded and is pastor of Holy Bethel Christian Church, 909 E. 75th St., where the girl and her family were members.

Chapman, 66, is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault for allegedly molesting the girl from 1997, when she was 11, through 2000, when she was 14, the lawsuit says.

She says that because of the baby-sitting arrangement, she often stayed the night at Chapman's home. She also stayed there, the lawsuit says, because she was a member of "David's Dancers," a troupe based at Chapman's church.

If convicted, Chapman faces up to six years in prison. He'll appear in court Wednesday.

Chapman could not be reached.

See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.

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