"The Abuse and Torture of Jane Roe 8"
It does not get much worse than this.
As detailed in the court documents’ text included below, a three-year-old girl was sexually molested by her Kingdom Kids teacher while at a midweek service of the Los Angeles International Church of Christ.
Multiple ICOC leaders, including Kip McKean himself, pressured the girl’s mother (apparently a paid ICOC staff member no less) to not report the child molester to the police.
You know, because it would “hurt the church.”
As a result of Kip’s pressure, and the pressure of other powerful ICOC figures who were categorically under Kip’s influence and direction, this child molester was never reported and therefore walked free.
Since was not turned over to the police as required by law, he was free to continue to molest many, many other children, in the same ministry of the LA ICOC, in other cities in California, and later in several other states.
In fact, he became such a notorious criminal that he was actually featured on the TV show America’s Most Wanted, which helped lead to his capture.
This man, a “well-liked” member of the ICOC, was convicted of child molestation in three different states in addition to the crimes he had previously committed in California.
He abused countless victims over a period of nine years between when he molested that three-year-old at an LA ICOC midweek service and when he was ultimately caught.
Several mothers reported to ICOC leadership that this same man had molested their daughters. However, he was allowed to escape and travel to other cities and states to continue abusing.
He is now serving 40 years of hard labor, the maximum sentence in Louisiana.
And "Dr" Kip McKean, the guy who helped him avoid being turned over to the police way back at the beginning?
(Note that the court documents contain accusations of multiple instances where Kip intervened to protect sexual predators from prosecution by the police, over a period spanning decades.)
Oddly enough, Kip is a free man, up front at church every week, being paid very well to talk to people about righteousness and God.
Following is text lifted directly from the court documents so you can read the details for yourself (bolding is mine):
In 1996, when Jane Roe 8 was 3 years old and her parents were members of the East Region Los Angeles ICOC, she was molested by David Saracino, a regular Kids Kingdom worker and well liked ICOC member.
The molestation incident happened when Jane Roe 8 was in the Kids Kingdom ministry during a midweek church service. When Jane Roe 8 went home that evening, she told her mother that a man in Kids Kingdom had taken her into the closet, and did things to her “butt”, and her “private parts” hurt badly. Her mother talked with Jane Roe 8 about what happened and her mother was visibly upset and infuriated. Jane Roe 8’s mother immediately called the leaders of the East Region, Steve and Jacqueline Gansert-Morici.
Steve and Jacqueline asked her to not call the police to report the molestation of her 3-year-old daughter and said they first needed advice from the overseeing Elders, Bruce and Robin Williams.
By 8:30 a.m. the next day, Jane Roe 8’s mother received a call from John Bringardner, a California attorney and ICOC ministry leader, who had been recently hired as General Counsel for ICOC.
To Jane Doe 8’s mother’s complete surprise, attorney John Bringardner warned her that reporting this type of child abuse to the police or authorities would be a “huge mistake,” and would further traumatize Jane Roe 8. He explained that the police might remove the child from the home while the investigation was happening, and the child might be further molested while in foster care. He further reasoned that disclosing the child molestation to the police could cause people to lose their faith and leave God’s true church.
John Bringardner manipulated Jane Roe 8’s mother into silence by also telling her, if the church endured a scandal and could not “make budget” as a result, she would lose her full-time job in the ministry and ultimately, the downfall of the church would be her fault.
Attorney John Bringardner framed his advice to Jane Roe 8’s mother as though he wanted to protect the family’s best interests and shield the child from additional trauma. He also used guilt to silence Jane Roe 8’s mother by making insulting statements, such as a “wise mother” would not subject her small child to a traumatic recounting of events that would inevitably occur after the authorities were notified. Attorney John Bringardner concluded this conversation by promising to personally conduct an investigation regarding the abuse of Jane Roe 8. The ensuing events were nothing short of a nightmare.
Raul Dunn, the East 8 Region Kids Kingdom leader and a non-staff layperson, called Jane Roe 8’s mother and 9 said, “We asked the two male Kids Kingdom workers, this question: ‘Did you molest a kid last night in Kids Kingdom?’” The two male workers were the only male workers the day Jane Roe 8 was molested and, of course, they denied molesting Jane Roe 8.
Raul Dunn told Jane Roe 8’s mother, “Your daughter was not molested, we asked the workers, and they said, no, so she must have been mistaken.” Jane Roe 8’s mother was furious and when she inquired why no one was investigating her child’s horrific abuse during a church service, Steve Gansert-Morici deflected and told her that he asked Raul Dunn to investigate the incident.
Attorney John Bringardner called Jane Roe 8’s mother often for several weeks under the pretense of calling to “check on their family to see how they were doing.”
In reality, he was keeping tabs on the family to ensure they never told anyone outside ICOC about Jane Roe 8’s abuse at the hands of David Saracino.
Jane Roe 8’s mother requested an opportunity for her daughter to see both men and indicate which assaulted her, however, attorney John Bringardner refused the request and had no interest in learning which man horrifically abused the innocent child.
Attorney John Bringardner said that since both brothers (i.e., the two male workers) swore they did not abuse Jane Roe 8, he was not comfortable subjecting them to such treatment.
Jane Roe 8’s mother was upset and disappointed with the church’s inaction, so she created an opportunity for Jane Roe 8 to identify which “brother” molested her. That Sunday, Jane Roe 8 and her mother stood behind a two-way mirror at the East Region Los Angeles ICOC building to try and identify her assailant, but Jane Roe 8 became so nervous and fearful that she was unable to look at both men and buried her head in her mom’s torso. As a result of her crippling fear, no definitive identification of the assailant was made, although Jane Roe 8 knew his identity at the time. Jane Roe 8’s mother relayed this development to Steve and Jacqueline Gansert-Morici. Steve responded in an “I told you so” manner, and ultimately told her to forgive the man and move on.
Defendants, and specifically, Attorney John Bringardner and Steve and Jacqueline Gansert-Morici bullied, intimidated and manipulated Jane Roe 8’s parents, and convinced the family that reporting the crime to the authorities was wrong and would create eternal consequences.
On information and belief, Attorney John Bringardner asked both of the male workers, David Saracino and one other member, to visit the ICOC’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters office and write formal statements regarding the incidents of that fateful day. Jane Roe 8’s mother was never allowed to review their statements.
Five days after Jane Roe 8 was abused, her mother was at a church staff meeting in Hollywood at a church owned facility called the “Upside Down Club.”
After the staff meeting at the Upside-Down Club, she was called downstairs to participate in a meeting with attorney John Bringardner, Bruce and Robin Williams (ICOC Elders), and Steve and Jacqueline Gansert-Morici, to discuss the next steps in the ICOC led “investigation”. The Gansert-Morici’s were “discipled” by Bruce and Robin Williams, which meant the Gansert-Moricis answered to Bruce and Robin and sought their advice regarding all church related issues, including the molestation of Jane Roe 8.
During the meeting, Kip McKean approached the group, isolated Jane Roe 8’s mother and gave her a tight, seemingly compassionate hug.
McKean stated that he was so proud of her for not going to the police, and made the statements:
“I’m so sorry for what you’re going through, but if the police get a hold of this story, they will twist this story around and use it to destroy God's church. Then innocent members of our church will lose their salvation. I commend you for doing the Godly thing and allowing us to handle it. On behalf of God’s church, I am grateful for your faith sister, and I promise you that you did the right thing here.”
Approximately three weeks later, attorney John Bringardner communicated to Jane Roe 8’s parents that because they reported the abuse to ICOC leaders, significant changes were forthcoming in Kids Kingdom. Specifically, they implemented a “2 adults always” rule whereby no one person was allowed to be alone with a child during Kids Kingdom.
Attorney John Bringardner told Jane Roe 8’s mother, “Because you did not contact the police, we were able to make the Kingdom of God safer”.
Jane Roe 8’s mother was deeply disturbed as the Gansert-Morici’s again refused to warn the congregation about her daughter’s molestation, or to check in with the other ICOC children in Kids Kingdom to determine if more abuse had occurred.
Approximately one year after Jane Roe 8’s abuse, another mother in the Los Angeles East Region discovered that her child was also molested by David Saracino and reported it to Steve Gansert-Morici and Rob and Connie Kosberg.
Steve suggested she call Jane Roe 8’s mother, presumably in hopes of Jane Roe 8’s mother convincing the mother to refrain from reporting the abuse to the police.
Jane Roe 8’s family was utterly shocked and horrified to learn that David Saracino abused another child. Jane Roe 8’s mother did not comply with Defendants’ “advice” to further manipulate this woman, and advised the woman to immediately call the police because David Saracino had a history of abusing children in the church.
Because ICOC leaders refused to report David Saracino’s child abuse to the authorities, this deplorable predator escaped to San Diego where he abused many more children until he was eventually captured in 2005 after appearing on an episode of America’s Most Wanted.
Defendants helped David Saracino evade authorities by giving him refuge in various ICOC locations, and not alerting those congregations, thereby enabling him to continue abusing innocent children with impunity for 9 years after Jane Roe 8 was molested.
In January 2012, David Saracino was sentenced to 40 years of hard labor in the State of Louisiana, the maximum sentence, for forcible rape upon a 4-year-old girl in 2004.
The prosecutor, Cynthia Guillory, told the judge that he was among the worst of the worst. Mr. Saracino purposefully sought out women who were vulnerable and struggling financially so he could gain access to and victimize their young children.
Mr. Saracino faced charges and convictions in Texas, Utah and Louisiana, where he received the 40-year sentence.
Mr. Saracino attended the East Region of the LA ICOC, where several members (single mothers) of the ICOC reported to the leaders in the East Region in or about 1998 that David Saracino had continuously molested their daughters.
Ultimately, several police reports were filed by the parents, while the ICOC remained silent.
Just as the ICOC did nothing to address these reports while David escaped to the San Diego ICOC and freely resided in the Escondido area temporarily. Like so many others, these mothers were told not to share with anyone else what David had done, as it would “hurt the church.”
David ultimately disappeared uncaptured. David was free to go on a nationwide crime spree, abusing and raping little girls along the way.
David was finally caught, but only after an episode of America’s Most Wanted produced credible leads that resulted in his capture.
Had ICOC assisted in his arrest or alerted their congregations, David Saracino could not have continued abusing children with reckless abandon.
ICOC’s commitment to abject apathy is sickening and clearly intentional.