Lawsuit alleges Keyport Bible Church failed to protect boys from inappropriate sexual contact

  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018 4:50pm
  • News

A suit recently filed against the Keyport Bible Church and the wife of Richard Gerjets alleges that the church and Gerjets’ wife failed to prevent inappropriate sexual contact between Gerjets and three minors between 2009 and 2013.

Gerjets faced two criminal charges of child molestation in the second degree in 2017. He died before the conclusion of that trial, however. On Oct. 3, the plaintiffs from the 2017 trial filed a civil suit seeking an unknown amount for damages. The plaintiffs allege that the Keyport Bible Church and Andrea Gerjets failed to protect them from Richard Gerjets’ “proclivity to engage in inappropriate sexual contact with minor boys.”

Furthermore, court documents claim that the church’s former pastor, Michael Chinn “and other agents and governing members of Kitsap Bible Church knew or should have known that Richard Gerjets … posed a danger to plaintiffs. Keyport Bible Church failed to fulfill its duties to exercise reasonable care to protect plaintiffs from harm caused by Richard Gerjets.”

Documents from the 2017 criminal case against Gerjets paint a picture of a trusted member of the congregation who frequently hosted young boys at his home.

“He helped people a lot with physical labor, watching their children, taking kids hunting, swimming, boating, shopping, buying their kids gifts, providing them landscaping jobs to earn money for Mission trips, teaching them woodworking, etc. Over the years the families have developed friendships, having Gerjets over for dinner and entrusting him with the care of their children,” reads a statement of probable cause by a Kitsap County sheriff’s detective.

Documents also paint a picture of a man who cultivated an environment that would appeal to the young boys as well, keeping a stocked refrigerator, television and sleeping lofts in his treehouse as well as a camper trailer outfitted with television and gaming devices.

“Gerjets provided a fun place for teenage boys to hang out on his property and sleep over in the trailer and treehouse,” the documents read.

More in News

Adult entertainers seek safer workplace standards

Proposed bill will hold employers accountable for safety of dancers

Randall introduces bill creating pathway to universal health care

SB 5822 is joined by House’s companion HB 1877 under consideration in Olympia.

Lawmakers propose new restrictions to benefit southern resident orcas

Establishes a 650-yard “no-go” zone for whale watchers until at least 2023

Senate passes bill to remove the death penalty

Measure will be moved forward to the House of Representatives

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane addresses about three dozen people who drove from the east side of the Cascades to rally for gun rights and for their own state. Shea proposes legislation to form a 51st state on the east side of Washington. Photo by Sean Harding, <em>WNPA Olympia News Bureau</em>
Group calling for 51st state meet in Olympia

WNPA Olympia News Bureau Representative Matt Shea, R-Spokane, was greeted by a… Continue reading

Annual Health and Senior Resource Fair set for March 2

Experts will be on hand to share knowledge on health, legal and financial issues.

Input needed for Harper Estuary restoration

‘Walkshop’ set for Sunday, Feb. 24.

Sheriff’s deputies draw weapons, make arrest after chase

A 23-year-old Bremerton man was wanted on multiple warrants.

Mayor to host ‘shovel-off’ Saturday morning

Volunteers are wanted to help clear sidewalks near city schools.

Most Read