Men sue South Barrington church, allege sex abuse by counselor
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Two brothers are suing Willow Creek Community Church in suburban South Barrington and say they were allegedly sexually abused over several years by a youth minister at the church.
The complaint, filed Thursday under the aliases John Doe and Joe Doe, claims Brian Wongkamalasai, 30, sexually abused the two men beginning in 2009 when they were 16 and 14 years old and Wongkamalasai was 22.
Wongkamalasai was convicted of sexually abusing a 16-year-old in 2013, and is a registered sex offender currently living in Denver, Colorado, Illinois State Police records show.
According to the suit, John Doe and Joe Doe were sexually abused in more than 300 instances between September 2009 and December 2011. Both said Wongkamalasai masturbated them and performed oral sex on them.
Wongkamalasai was working for Willow Creek Community Church as a counselor, youth minister, youth leader, supervisor, monitor and accountability partner to Joe Doe and John Doe when the abuse occurred, according to the suit. In return for those services on behalf of Willow Creek Community Church, he was allowed to stay in John Doe’s and Joe Doe’s homes.
Mark DeMoss, a spokesman for the church, said that Wongkamalasai was not an employee or volunteer at the church during the time of the allegations.
“We were saddened to hear about these allegations,” DeMoss said in a statement. “Mr. Wongkamalasai was not an employee or volunteer of the church during the time of the allegations. As a Church, we are deeply committed to the safety and well-being of everyone. We will pray for these young men and their family.”
The suit, which also names Wongkamalasai as a defendant, seeks more than $50,000 in damages for pain and suffering.