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Lawsuit against Foursquare Church, pastor's sons dismissed

Court rules that sex abuse suit was brought forth after the statute of limitations

A civil suit brought against Forest Grove pastor Darrell Roberts, his twin sons David and Jonathan, and their church, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, was dismissed last Friday.

The suit alleged that David Roberts sexually abused three juvenile parishioners between 1989 and 1996 and that Darrell Roberts and the church hierarchy knew about the actions and didn't act.

But Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Walker dismissed the case saying that the suit came after the statute of limitations that applies in civil sex abuse cases.

Clayton H. Morrison, attorney for the three unnamed plaintiffs, said his clients will appeal the ruling.

Morrison said that during the course of the lawsuit, the church and Roberts didn't deny that abuse had occurred, but that Roberts and church officials said they didn't know about it.

'The stuff happened, but they're saying the church is not responsible. The way this is going down is because of the statute of limitations,' Morrison said.

The court ruled that in order for the plaintiffs to sue for negligence, they needed to act before they were 20.

'I'm a little shocked,' Morrison said. 'I didn't read it like they did.'