News Pensacola State & National News

Lashbrook’s Attorney Stresses Innocence

December 15, 2011

Keith Lashbrook’s attorney is certain his client is innocent of accusations stemming from the Haitian orphanage the missionary oversaw. Children from the facility—and their state-side adoptive parents—have made claims of physical and sexual abuse, and have filed a lawsuit against Globe International Ministries.

“We’re about ready to file a defamation case,” said Ken Brooks, a Milton-based attorney representing Lashbrook.

The IN attempted to contact Lashbrook and his attorney for this week’s story detailing the accusations laid out in the recently filed lawsuit. Getting the message when he returned from a trip, Brooks missed the IN’s print edition.

Lashbrook has no suit filed against him. The suit is filed against Globe International, who worked in conjunction with Lashbrook Family Ministries to run the In the Father’s Hands Children’s Home in Port-de-Piax.

“They’re going after what they think are the deep pockets,” Brooks said.

While the suit is filed against Globe, a Pensacola-based organization, it more specifically addresses the environment fostered by Lashbrook in Haiti. The charges are that staff, and more recently Lashbrook himself, sexually abused children in their care.

Miner Harrell, Globe’s attorney, said his client is innocent. Brooks said the same is true of Lashbrook.

“There’s a lot of things a lot of people aren’t aware of,” said Brooks, who is also representing Lashbrook and his wife, Cindy Lashbrook, in the couple’s legal battle to regain custody of their adoptive children.

The attorney chalked the accusations up to lies and said it was about getting money, as opposed to helping the children. He said he will soon file a defamation suit against “several of the parents.”

“We see this a lot,” Brooks said, adding that the parents had an “axe to grind.” The attorney also said that he would soon “open some doors” and “let people know what truly happened.”

The Lashbrooks, the attorney argued, had been living in a “war zone” and were caring for kids that were abused before arriving at the orphanage. He said Lashbrook—along with both the Haitian and U.S. governments—had already looked into allegations concerning the facility.

“These people are not the monsters they’re being made out to be,” Brooks said.

Similar to Globe International, Brooks distanced his client from Vance Cherry—Lashbrook’s former brother-in-law, a volunteer at the orphanage.

“No, no, no,” Brooks said. “Vance Cherry’s a whole different ballgame.”

The attorney said the Lashbrooks were no longer in contact with “this Vance Cherry fellow.” Cherry and Keith Lashbrook’s sister, Hanna, divorced following his removal from the Haiti facility in 2010.

Brooks said as for his client—Lashbrook—he is sure all accusations will be proven false.

“To tell you the truth there’s not a lot of evidence out there that’s going to be found credible,” he said.

You Might Also Like

  • eric December 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    The abuse of children is terrible in all cases.

    If one looks further at the charitable aid people send to haiti he would be shocked to see all the corruption that exists and how little of the money actually goes to helping the needy people in Haiti.

    There are many documented cases of this type of corruption and with all the corruption, the leaders in Haiti probably have little respect for children’s well being.

  • Maribeth Price December 23, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Perhaps it might have been better to be more precise in timelines in the article. When you say “Even Globe admits that there was a culture of abuse at the mission” – what precisely did they mean if they did indeed say that? When was it said, exactly? A culture of abuse – have you ever been to Haiti? Could that statement involved the culture over there in a broader sense and as to how it applied to the mission? While the issue is certainly news worthy, I still stand by your F grade knowing what I do know because how the individual facts were strung together for the article was a poor job of objective reporting.

  • Maribeth Price December 23, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Having known the Lashbrooks for many years, meeting them sometime around 1998-1999, and being a supporter of Globe missionaries for some years now, and knowing other principals associated with this issue, I was sad to see the construction, in public, of an assembly of individual aspects of a very complicated situation into a presentation that appears to convict parties, as that appears to be the motivation of the author. You have added to an already staggering burden, and it is my opinion that although I understand why you would deem the information news-worthy, I believe that the presentation of it in the manner the issues were constructed was motivated by the sensational. The responsibility to all parties that your publication has, and to the truth, which remains to be seen, would seem to me to be the driving motivation of your reporting and what you put into print. I think your production may receive a grade of B+ on the sensational, but a true F on moral and civic duty.

    • Rick Outzen December 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

      41-plus children abused is a very powerful motivation. Even Globe admits that there was a culture of abuse at the mission. The damage to the children is well documented by experts. To what extent Lashbrook, Cherry and others were involved in the abuse has yet to be determined in court. The burden of proof remains on the plaintiffs.