Sonoma County Elder Accused of Child Abuse

[Original publication date: March 1, 2004]

Suit accuses church official of abuse. Four say Jehovah’s Witness church hid crime; man a convicted child molester

Four former members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses have filed a lawsuit in Superior Court, contending they were sexually abused by a church official in Sonoma County (California) during the 1980s and the church covered up the crime.
February 19, 2004 – By STEVE HART, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT (Santa Rosa, CA)

Sonoma County, California Kingdom Halls (2013)
Sonoma County, California Kingdom Halls (2013)

The lawsuit names two Sonoma County congregations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Donald L. Glew, a former church member who was convicted in 1989 of four counts of child molestation. Glew, now 52, was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

According to the lawsuit, Glew was a church leader in Santa Rosa and Petaluma who used his position to gain access to young children of church members. He started molesting two of the plaintiffs when they were infants, the suit alleges.

The other alleged victims were 1 and 5 years old when Glew started molesting them, according to the complaint filed Feb. 9.

“He was someone vested with authority,” said Bill Brelsford, a Sacramento attorney who represents the four plaintiffs, identified only by their first names in the 22-page complaint.
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