$1 Million Lawsuit Cites ‘Willful Negligence’ in Village Church Abuse Case

At the SBC’s annual meeting in June, Chandler said he met with the Bragg family, but Christi Bragg said that didn’t happen. “My oldest daughter was a cabin away from where this incident—this alleged incident—took place. We called a meeting with all the parents that we knew and could find,” Chandler said to the annual meeting attendees.

Chandler called the situation “complex” and that he was still contemplating how the church might have handled it differently. “We just did the best we knew how to care for” the Braggs, he insisted. 

Tonne, who was arrested in January for the sexual assault charges, denies the allegations but will face a criminal trial. The church posted news of Tonne’s indictment online. 

Boz Tchividjian, a lawyer and sexual abuse victim advocate, is representing the young woman in court. According to Tchividjian, the church has yet to demonstrate a “good faith desire to resolve” the situation. “We have provided ample opportunity and ample time for that. We have hit a brick wall, and at that point in time we had to make the difficult but necessary decision to press forward to filing the lawsuit,” Tchividjian told the New York Times

The Village Church has not made any public statements about the lawsuit as of the publishing of this article.

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Megan Briggs
Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for ChurchLeaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.