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Christian Homeschooling Movement Leader, Bill Gothard, Sued for Sexual Abuse

( [email protected] ) Jan 12, 2016 05:35 PM EST
Bill Gothard, founder of Institute of Basic Life Principles, is being sued by 10 more women claiming sexual abuse during his time with the ministry. There are now over 60 women who have come forward with such claims.
Bill Gothard, founder of Institute of Basic Life Principles (IBLP). Wikimedia.org

Bill Gothard, founder of Institute of Basic Life Principles, is being sued by 10 more women claiming sexual abuse during his time with the ministry. There are now over 60 women who have come forward with such claims.  

Gothard was once known as a prominent voice in the Christian homeschooling movement, and an evangelist. This newest lawsuit is an amended version of a pervious lawsuit filed back in October of 2015. The suit was originally thrown out in December for lack of evidence.

When the allegations originally came out, he claimed that, "Oh no. Never never. Oh! That's horrible! Never in my life have I touched a girl sexually. I'm shocked to even hear that."

He added that, "That really is not true. I'd rather hold off to comment until I see what's in the lawsuit."

Gothard has been noted to have connections with both the Duggars and 2016 presidential contender Mike Huckabee.

Gothard resigned in in 2014 because of the allegations. However, on Wednesday, Institute of Basic Life Principles (IBLP) released the following statement:

"The current complaint alleges mistreatment of the plaintiffs, including sexual harassment and abuse. Many of these allegations concern conduct that allegedly occurred as early as the 1990s, and, as claimed, primarily involved Mr. Gothard. Since March 2014, Mr. Gothard is no longer associated with the Institute.

The Institute takes very seriously any allegations of this nature, and above all else, is interested in determining the truth. We therefore welcome the structure and integrity of the court process as a means for determining the truth with respect to these allegations."

All of the women who have brought up the accusations were connected to IBLP, with eight of them either volunteering or being a part of the paid staff. The lawsuit claims that most of the abuse happened when the women were minors, and some while receiving counseling for abuse.

When the investigation was initially taking place, Gothard, who has never been married, made a public appology to the women in the form of a written statement on his website at the time, saying, " My actions of holding of hands, hugs, and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong. They demonstrated a double-standard and violated a trust. Because of the claims about me I do want to state that I have never kissed a girl nor have I touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent."

Tags : Bill Gothard, homeschool, sexual abuse, Mike Huckabee, Duggar family