BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit that alleged sexual misconduct on the part of a former counselor at Bridge Bible Church.
The terms of the settlement are confidential, said an attorney who represented the plaintiff in the case and who categorized what happened as an example of adult clergy abuse.
“She’ll spend years processing the trauma she experienced from the abuse and how the church responded,” said attorney Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian.
Attorney Gabriel Godinez, who represented the counselor, Eric Simpson, said there was no admission of wrongdoing by his client.
Filed in July 2020, the suit alleged Simpson manipulated a woman who had initially gone to him for marriage counseling sessions with her husband. Simpson insisted on private sessions where he told her her husband was a lucky man, according to the suit.
Simpson is alleged to have repeated things to her that she told him in prior sessions she wished her husband would say.
“After months of manipulation, defendant Simpson had plaintiff where he wanted her,” the suit said. “Starting in July of 2019, defendant Simpson began sexually abusing plaintiff.”
When she reported what happened, church elders blamed her, the suit said.
Tchividjian said his client “bravely stepped forward” and held Simpson and the church accountable. She took back control of her life, he said.
“For my client, some beauty has come out of the ashes,” the attorney said.
The suit was settled in February and dismissed last month.