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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

In brief: Seventh-day Adventist Church sued over child sex abuse

From Wire Reports

PORTLAND – Two 50-year-old men filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming the Seventh-day Adventist Church put a man known to abuse children in charge of its youth program in the 1970s and kept him in that position even after learning he was accused of abusing a child in its ranks.

The men filed the suit in Oregon, seeking $15 million from the Maryland-based church and its Northwest and Oregon branches. The men say they were abused in the 1970s but only discovered two years ago that the church knew it had a convicted child molester in the program and did nothing.

The church did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The indictments began in the late 1960s and continued through the 1980s. The man was last released from prison in 2000.

Pilot killed in crash of small plane

CHEHALIS, Wash. – One person died when a small plane crashed in a parking lot Tuesday evening.

Chehalis police Chief Glenn Schaffer said the pilot was alone in the plane when it crashed in the parking lot of an auto body collision center about a quarter mile from the Chehalis-Centralia Airport. No one on the ground was hurt, Schaffer said.

Schaffer said the plane took off from the airport and made it across Interstate 5 before crashing next to some vehicles in the parking lot. Those vehicles caught fire but firefighters extinguished the flames.

No information was immediately available on the pilot or the aircraft.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA will investigate.

Gun in pants brings pain, then sentence

PORTLAND – It wasn’t the first time Joseph Johnson III had shot someone, but his decision to stuff a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun down the front of his pants as he fled had dramatic consequences.

Portland police said Johnson ended up shooting himself in the testicles. Officers arrested him nearby.

The 41-year-old man told a judge on Tuesday that he was “deeply ashamed” of wounding a friend in the leg last January in the course of a robbery. He asked for leniency but was sentenced to 20 years.

The man was convicted of shooting someone in San Francisco in 1994 and someone else in Multnomah County in 2006, both over drug disputes.

In this case, a jury convicted Johnson of robbery, assault and possession of methamphetamine.

Police: Man likely stabbed himself

PUYALLUP, Wash. – Police in Puyallup said their preliminary investigation indicates that a man found dead in a parking lot at the Washington State Fair grounds died of a self-inflicted stab wound to the chest.

Capt. Scott Engle said police had access to surveillance camera images of the area and don’t believe the death was accidental. They also don’t believe anyone else was involved.

Police Chief Bryan Jeter said police had interacted with the man several times on Sunday after reports that he had been intoxicated and disorderly at local businesses.