Adopted Haitian kids allegedly sexually abused
By John Rogers
Pensacola, Fla. (WALA) - A shocking lawsuit has been filed in Pensacola.
Two local families allege that a missionary sexually abused and molested their adoptive children while they were in his care at an orphanage in Haiti.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 11 children who were adopted by local families out of Haiti.
These children were brought to America after the terrible earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010.
This lawsuit said that after the children's alleged abuse, they suffered significant physical and emotional scars that will impact them the rest of their lives.
On January 12, 2010, a horrific earthquake devastated the country of Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands of people.
A missionary based out of Pensacola, Keith Lashbrook, ran an orphanage in Port-de-Paix, Haiti.
FOX10 News interviewed Lashbrook shortly after the earthquake. At the time, Lashbrook was desperately seeking help for the children.
Soon, many of the kids were adopted and sent to the U.S. A large group of children were adopted locally. But now, a lawsuit reveals allegations of sexual abuse and molestation at the orphanage.
The lawsuit was filed against Globe International, a Pensacola Christian organization that provided funds for Lashbrook.
The lawsuit was filed by two families on behalf of 11 children. It says Globe was aware of the sexual abuse and didn't stop it.
The court documents claim the children were abused and molested by Lashbrook and other staff members on a number of occasions.
They state there was a culture of sexual abuse that existed at the orphanage.
The lawsuit says the children suffered serious emotional consequences that will last the rest of their lives, and the parents want Globe to pay for treatment.
One of the parents, Milissa Evans, told FOX10 News in a statement: “I want to make this implicitly clear- this is the testimony of our children. This is absolutely true, this was absolutely horrific.”
Evans goes on to say, “Our children will need extensive counseling. We can't correct what happened, but this lawsuit is bringing a form of justice for the children. It's solely for the children and it's for their needs now and in the future.”
The court documents say that Globe International admitted to the parents that children in the orphanage were sexually abused.
The President of Globe International, Doug Gehman, did not want to comment for our story. He says he wants their side to play out in court.
Neither Lashbrook nor his attorney could not be reached at this time.
The lawsuit states that Globe International did not do anything criminally wrong, but it knew of the evils going on in Haiti, and it didn't do enough to stop it.
Evans’ attorney, Autumn Beck, said in a statement: ‘the goal of the lawsuit is for the care of the children who have suffered abuse. The parents are not seeking money. As a ministry organization, Globe had the ability to protect the children and later to help them heal from the trauma. They have done neither.’
Milissa Evans told us her adopted children are doing well as can be expected. However, some are not doing very well at all.
This lawsuit stressed that this abuse will plague these children for the rest of their lives, and hurt their ability to earn an income when they grow into adults.
We'll continue to follow this story as it develops in court.