Skip to main content
Only Pay If We Win
(855) 339-8879
FREE CONSULTATION

Southern California Church Minister Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of a Minor


Southern California Church Minister Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of a Minor sue laibility lawyer attorney

Barry Don Fike, a minister at Fillmore Church of Christ, pleaded guilty to 2 felony counts of sexually inappropriate online communications with a minor, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. The plea follows the minister’s arrest in July 2023, when he began communications with an undercover officer disguising themselves as a 15-year-old girl. During their communications, Fike sent sexually explicit messages and photos of himself, and arranged to meet with the girl for a sexual encounter.

Deputy District Attorney Ben Moreno said that the chat app used by Fike had no method of verifying the user’s age, and said this was a “powerful reminder” that parents must keep tabs on their child’s online activity. Moreno added that the “defendant was a minister and teacher, showing that no one is above suspicion and trust should not be given lightly when it comes to our children.”

Aside from serving as minister at Fillmore Church of Christ, Fike previously taught at two schools – Pepperdine University and Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village. Thus, it’s more than likely that there he took advantage of students at these institutions. If you or someone in your family was sexually abused by Barry Don Fike, please take some time to learn about your rights and legal options. We can offer you a free consultation with a child sexual abuse lawyer, who will help you determine the best way to move forward.

Southern California Church Minister Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of a Minor lawyer attorney compensation incident liability
Our Latest Verdicts and Settlements

$1.93 Million

Security Guard Assault

$2,287,495

Lead Poisoning

$54 Million

Sexual Abuse

$22 Million

Gym Accident

$600,000

Assault & Battery

$965,000

Assaulted By Employee

$1,964,400

Child Sex Abuse

$1,975,000

Head Injury
Who is Responsible when a Minister Commits Sexual Abuse?

When a religious leader engages in sexual misconduct with a minor, it’s important to question what other parties, like the church, knew about the abuse that was taking place. With Barry Don Fike, we know that he was a teacher at a Christian high school, as well as Pepperdine University. In short, he had easy access to vulnerable teens, and there’s no way to know for sure how many of them were subjected to sexual abuse by this predator.

Aside from the abuser, we have to determine what school and church officials knew when it came to inappropriate relationship between Fike and minors he was in charge of. In just about every case we investigate, we find that administrators knew what was going on, at least on some level, yet they chose not to call the police or encourage the victim’s family to seek legal advice. They also do little to nothing in order to protect the victim, like making sure the individual is banned from the premises.

Another party that may be liable is the chat app that was used between Fike and the undercover officer who posed as a minor. As we mentioned, there were no safeguards in place for age verification, and this can lead to a minor talking to a an adult with criminal intent and being groomed by them into sexual activity. This is a common problem with chat and social media apps (TikTok, for example), and it’s possible that you may have grounds to sue the company that owns the app or platform.

At the end of the day, negligence by numerous parties may be the cause of why you were taken advantage of by Barry Don Fike. The key is to find an experienced sexual abuse attorney, who can obtain evidence and build a strong case of lability against Christian High School in Westlake Village, Fillmore Church of Christ, or any other organization that was negligent in their duty of care.

Average Case Values for Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

The total sum of monetary damages that are owed to a child sexual assault or abuse victim can start at around $500,000 and go all the way up to $10,000,000 for the most egregious incidents of abuse. Ultimately, we will need to learn many details about your case before we can decide on a fair compensation amount to seek from a church or any other entity that failed to protect you from a pedophile. While many of the awards recovered by our lawyers exceed the $1,000,000 mark, that’s not to say that a 6-figure payment in unfair, as the value of a sexual abuse lawsuit is unique to each and every victim.

How Long it Takes to Settle a Sexual Abuse Claim

There is no set amount of time to settle a lawsuit for sexual abuse, but overall, these cases take anywhere from 1 to 2 years to resolve. Of course, if the party you are suing is eager to put this matter behind them and makes you a fair offer, a settlement can be achieved within a few months. But most defendants – especially religious organizations – are extremely reluctant to own up to sexual misconduct by their leaders. This is one of many factors that impact how long it takes to for a child sex abuse claim to settle. For a detailed explanation on the timeframe to reach a settlement based on your own circumstances, schedule a free case evaluation by contacting our law firm.

Southern California Church Minister Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of a Minor lawyer attorney sue liability
What is the Deadline if I want to File a Lawsuit?

As a survivor of child sexual abuse (sexual abuse of an individual under 18 years old), you are allowed 22 years from becoming an adult to file a compensation claim. In essence, the statute of limitations to sue for sexual assault and exploitation during childhood is your 40th birthday.

For some claimants, how long they have for a sex abuse lawsuit is based on the discovery of how they were injured by the abuse they endured. By injury, we are referring to both physical and mental health conditions that are commonly associated with molestations, grooming, sexting, and other acts of sexual abuse against a minor.

The vast majority of clients we represent come to us decades after the actual event, and this is due to the fact that they have spent many years repressing the memories of sexual abuse. Due to continued suppression over a long period of time, they are unable to realize how their mental health issues were caused by the trauma of child sexual abuse. If they are over the age of 40 when they make the connection, California’s discovery rule gives them 5 years to file a legal case for damages like medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

Call the Attorneys of DTLA Law Group

Since the Boston Globe’s investigation in 2002 on sexual abuse by Catholic priests, countless victims have come forward with allegations against religious leaders, such as ministers, reverends, rabbis, and imams. For many of these people, filing a lawsuit is the only form of justice available to them, and we want to make that process as easy as possible.

That’s why we offer a Zero Fee Guarantee, which allows us to provide you with free legal services. Our expenses are part of the settlement amount we request from the defendant. So, either we win your case and recover our expenses, or we make nothing at all. Either way, you have nothing to lose by hiring us to represent you. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, contact our office and schedule a free consultation.


Over $1 BILLION Recovered
for Our Clients

Learn More

YOU Deserve the Best

Free Case Review 24/7
You Don’t Pay unless we win
Call (855) 339-8879

  • +1
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive telephone calls and text messages at anytime, which include hours outside of business hours (8:00 am PST – 9:00 pm PST). This is so that we may reach you as soon as possible in order to consult on your potential case.

ultimate guide uber lyft accidents

Featured Lawyers


farid-medium

Steven Ross, Esq.

edward morgan

Edward Morgan, Esq.


Amy Gomez


Bonnie Madani, Esq.


Nina Sargsyan, Esq.


Jeffrey Bloeser, Esq.