PLYMOUTH, Mich. (FOX 2) - A family in Plymouth has hired a lawyer as they level disturbing allegations that their 5-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted during Sunday School at a Plymouth church.
Attorney Monica Beck is representing the victim, identified as Jane Doe, and her family. Through Beck, the family says the little girl was in Sunday School at First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth on Palm Sunday back in 2017 when she was sexually assaulted.
Beck says the family is trying to get the girl help but the church could have done something to prevent this.
"The family is doing its best to get Jane all the help she needs and all the treatment she needs," Beck said. "The church's lack of safeguard measures or any type of security or monitoring was so lax that an adult male was allowed to take our client into a bathroom and then leave the church unnoticed."
According to Beck, there were no security cameras to prevent it or help catch the man responsible.
The family says the girl had to use the bathroom and instead of being escorted by a staff member, she was allowed to leave by herself. On her way, she encountered a man wearing a cross necklace who the family said took her into a restroom and sexually assaulted her.
"They reported the sexual assault to the church and law enforcement the very day after it occured and the church's response was disappointing to say the least," Beck said.
The church didn't notify other parents of the assault for more than a month, Beck said. But Plymouth police took the crime very seriously. They conducted a lengthy and intense investigation but ultimately could not come up with a suspect.
The case is now closed, pending new information.
"Perhaps with the assault being more publicly known - that somebody may be able to identify the perpetrator and protect other children as well," Beck said.
The church released a statement saying the church immediately looked into the allegations:
"The Church was made aware of a claim involving a child on Palm Sunday in April 2017 and immediately commissioned an investigation. The Church has fully cooperated with, and provided information to, the Plymouth Police in connection with the police investigation. The Church has not seen any lawsuit involving this matter and was not aware of the filing. The Church is deeply saddened by this claim and continues to pray for anyone involved."