In a case scheduled to go to jury trial next year, a judge has ruled that two victims of sexual assault who filed a civil lawsuit against a Lenexa church will remain anonymous in court proceedings.
Johnson County District Court Judge Kevin Moriarty granted the plantiffs’ motion to proceed in the case using pseudonyms for the young victims and their mother. The ruling was issued Sept. 20.
Two girls — identified as Jane Doe 31 and Jane Doe 32 in court papers — and their guardian sued Westside Family Church in June, saying it knowingly let teen sex offender Kessler Lichtenegger be around kids.
Lichtenegger pleaded guilty last year to attempted rape and attempted electronic solicitation involving the two victims, who at the time were under age 14 and attended the church. He is serving a 17-year sentence for those crimes.
Moriarty also denied defense attorney Bradley Russell’s motion to dismiss the suit, which is scheduled for jury trial next August.