DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nanette Miles has filed a class action lawsuit in federal court alleging child sex abuse against the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana; the church’s former youth director, David Hyles; and Hyles-Anderson College, which is affiliated with the church and the Hyles family. Nanette is represented by Matthew Haynie and Ashley Pileika of Forester Haynie PLLC and Bob Montgomery of the Law Offices of Robert A. Montgomery. Click here for the complaint.
Nanette alleges David Hyles raped her for years, starting when she was only 13 years old in 1976. The complaint states Mr. Hyles began making advances toward Nanette, calling her to his private office under the guise of “counseling,” shortly after her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Once Mr. Hyles had secluded Nanette in his office, he drugged and raped her. Mr. Hyles continued to rape and sexually assault Nanette on a weekly basis for the next five years.
Nanette and her attorneys surmise there are likely hundreds of other survivors that were sexually abused at First Baptist and/or Hyles-Anderson College. A 2012 feature story in Chicago Magazine identifies at least nine offenders who held leadership positions at First Baptist that have been criminally convicted of sexual crimes and assaults. According to the article, former First Baptist leaders have, “fanned out around the country, preaching at their own churches and racking up a string of arrests and civil lawsuits, including physical abuse of minors, sexual molestation, and rape.” A recent investigation by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has uncovered hundreds, if not thousands, of survivors that have suffered rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse in the past few decades at other Independent Fundamental Baptist affiliated entities.
By filing this case as a class action, Nanette and her attorneys hope to give survivors of sexual abuse a voice and legal mechanism to hold leaders at First Baptist and other Independent Fundamental Baptist churches accountable for perpetrating and covering up horrific acts of child sex abuse for decades. Nanette’s attorney, Ashley Pileika, says, “Nanette is seeking justice against David Hyles for his reprehensible behavior for herself and many others. She is friends with at least two other women who were raped by David Hyles and struggle with severe health complications today. Nanette is courageously stepping forward to be their voices as well.”
Forester Haynie is a national law firm that focuses on making sure every person across America has equal access to justice. The firm currently represents hundreds of sexual abuse survivors against high profile defendants, including religious institutions and other organizations. They have successfully recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Forester Haynie encourages any other survivors of sexual assault to contact them at 1-800-214-1010.