Update: Lawsuit Filed Against Methodist Church in Connecticut
A lawsuit filed in October 2023 against the United Methodist Church of Woodbury in Woodbury, Connecticut, alleges that 3 brothers were abused by Russell Hullstrung, the son of former pastor Robert Hullstrung.
The youngest of the 3 brothers, Kristian Chestnut, initially filed a complaint in 2021 after the passing of the Child Victim’s Act, which extended the statute of limitations, or SOL, for a survivor of child sexual abuse in criminal and civil cases. The suit named as defendants the United Methodist Church of Woodbury, the United Methodist Church, and its various divisions.
His brothers Scott and Gregory Chestnut each signed $60,000 settlements with United Methodist in 2017, according to Newsday.
“It’s very stressful to go through and recount the horrible things that were done to me at the United Methodist Church as a child,” Chestnut said. “But at the same time, I believe by being able to bring a case, I have also been able to benefit a lot in terms of recovery from gaining a far better understanding of what happened to me as a child.”
Chestnut was allegedly abused by Russell Hullstrung from 1983 to 1986 when he was between the ages of 3 and 7 years old.
What’s the problem?
Methodism is a movement of Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately 70 million adherents worldwide. Like many religious institutions and organizations, the Methodist Church has been involved in a number of sexual abuse scandals within the organization that have involved cover-ups and an unwillingness to report or confront abusers within the organization.
The wave of clergy sex scandals now engulfing the Roman Catholic Church has battered the Methodist Church and many others as well, producing an uneven record of response that ranges from the Episcopal Church's aggressive and detailed policies to the Southern Baptist Convention's widespread lack of written standards. In the last decade, clergy sexual misconduct has been exposed in virtually every faith tradition.
You are not alone if you have suffered sexual abuse of any kind or severity at the hands of a Methodist minister or other clergy member. The news stories and media coverage of religious sex abuse scandals and other similar situations have brought a shocking and appalling subject into view, finally shedding light on an area of unspeakable darkness and allowing survivors to come forth who never thought they could.
Hundreds of Southern Baptist Church Ministers, Deacons Accused of Sexual Assault
February 11, 2019 - Nearly 400 Baptist Ministers, Deacons, and unpaid volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, and more than half have already been convicted, according to an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News. The report also found that dozens of the church members who were accused of sex crimes were later allowed to return to their church.
- Southern Baptist Church Ministers Accused of Sexual Misconduct
- New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Sexual Abuse Litigation
See all related sexual abuse lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.
Do I have a Methodist Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuit?
The Sexual Abuse Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Methodist minister & clergy sexual abuse & molestation lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Methodist Church Sexual Abuse Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been abused or molested by any member of the Methodist clergy, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.