Sex abuse civil case filed against former church volunteer in Vi - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Sex abuse civil case filed against former church volunteer in Vidalia

VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) -

Lawyers for a former Vidalia teen announced a civil suit Monday against a former church volunteer accused of molestation.

Attorneys for Matt Stanley announced a lawsuit against Jim Collins, a political consultant who volunteered with youth at Firs t Baptist Church Vidalia from the mid 1990's to late 2000's.

An attorney for the church issued a statement that FBC was made aware of the accusations years later.

The church claims they assisted the accuser and cooperated with police when those accusations came to light. They also said Collins was banned from any contact with teens at the church and banned from church property even though no formal charges were ever filed against him.

The civil case comes after changes to Georgia's civil suit laws through the Georgia Hidden Predator Act, which went into effect July 1. It gives accusers a longer period of time to file complaints. It also allows victims with past allegations to file cases even if the case no longer falls in the extended period.

"We must and you can forgive. Yet there must be consequences however, even for forgiven actions. Mr. Collins must provide an accounting for his actions," said Matthew Stanley, victim.

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