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Sexual Abuse Case Involving Bell Gardens Church Settled

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit by a young man who alleged he was sexually abused by the former pastor of a Lutheran church in Bell Gardens.

Attorneys for the unidentified plaintiff filed a notice of settlement April 26 with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle Rosenblatt. Iglesia Luterana de San Pedro y Pablo and the Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are the defendants. Last summer, the judge tossed all claims against a third entity, the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod, finding that its leadership had no knowledge of the actions of the former pastor, Franklynn Brundige.

The terms of the resolution were not divulged in the plaintiffs’ court papers.

In total, eight young men – five of them relatives of Brundige – allege they were molested as children by Brundige. The other plaintiffs’ cases will be tried later.

Brundige, who was a pastor at the church from 1990 until 2007, was sentenced in 2008 to 24 years in prison after pleading no contest to two counts each of lewd acts with a child under 14 and of continuous sexual abuse of a child.