Houston area pastor named in sexual assault lawsuit

By John Brannen - Web Editor, Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A lawsuit has been filed against a Houston area pastor accused of molesting and sexually assaulting at least six young girls.

The girls claim they  ere as young as 9 years old when Radhames Severino repeatedly molested them up until they were 16 years old.

"They are visibly shaken, emotional, still scared and clearly confused. This was a church they were a major part of," said attorney Derek Hollingsworth.

Radhames Severino is accused of targeting girls in his church from 2002 to 2012. Radhames Severino's then-wife and co-pastor Rufino Medina Severino is also named in the lawsuit.

Radhames Severino worked at a church called Ministerios Del Instituto Biblico Elohim at 8600 Beechnut St., where the assaults are said to have taken place.

The lawsuit alleges that Radhames Severino would typically ask his victims to reach for something on a high shelf in the church and touch them inappropriately. Hollingsworth said Radhames Severino's abuse would escalate after that and he would make up reasons to touch or "examine" his victims.

"It progressed from there from actually having some of these girls in his office at the church with their clothes off or partially off touching them in their genital area , groping them," he said.

According to the lawsuit, some of the girls told Radhames Severino's wife about the abuse. Her advice was to not go into his office alone. Some of the girls allegedly witnessed the couple arguing about the abuse and saw Radhames Severino's wife slap him and exclaim loudly, "Why are you doing this?"

The girls came forward and reported the allegations to Houston police in the fall. Radhames Servino is not currently facing any charges.

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