Community rallies to support teen allegedly sexually abused on church property

Posted: Updated:
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT -

The Bedford-Stuyvesant community is coming together to support a 14-year-old girl after police say she was sexually abused on church property.

According to the girl's family, she has not been back to school since telling her brother and sister-in-law last month that she was repeatedly sexually abused by her own father.

He was the religious leader at Progressive Baptist Church on Howard Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

While the church may be closed, that is not stopping the girl's family and the community from gathering to take a stand and pray.

Representatives from nearby churches and child advocacy groups rallied Sunday morning in front of the locked up church. Their goal was to bring even more awareness about sexual abuse in churches and by religious leaders.

The 14-year-old allegedly told her brother that the abuse happened in the alleyway behind the church.

In January, police say 44-year-old-Matthew Gibson was arrested and charged with criminal sexual acts, sex abuse and forcible touching.

The victim's brother and sister-in-law claim since coming forward with the story last month, they have been harassed and feel like they are being ignored by lead investigators in the case.

News 12 is told the family has hired their own counselor to help the victim on her long road of healing and recovery.

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