With criminal proceedings behind them, the families whose daughters were allegedly sexually abused by Dr. Jeffrey Klem will now seek justice in civil court, as the trial of Steve and Susan Smith et al vs. Klem is slated to begin June 21.
Klem made headlines in 2006 when accusations of child molestation surfaced.
Reportedly, he abused several young women who were members of New Life Tabernacle Ã¯Â¿Â½ the church Klem attended and where he met his wife Beth, the daughter of the church's pastor.
In August 2006, Steve and Susan Smith, along with another family, filed suit against the Beaumont cardiologist, the Rev. Lonnie Treadway and New Life Tabernacle, alleging child molestation and breach of fiduciary duty.
The families allege in their suit that Klem began molesting their daughters in June 2001 and continued doing so until 2006. The Smiths' daughter was 7 years old at the time.
"Treadway knew, or should have known, that his son-in-law was a pedophile and presented great danger to young girls," the suit states. "Treadway took no action to report the conduct of Klem, and actively concealed from church members the propensity of Klem to be a pedophile."
Treadway and the church settled with the families last June.
According to a Beaumont Enterprise article, Klem was first indicted on three counts of indecency with a child in Jefferson County and two counts in Harris County in 2006. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of injury to a child, and was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication in March 2009.
If he abides by the terms of his probation, Klem won't have a conviction on his record, but if his probation is revoked a judge can automatically sentence him to up to 10 years in prison, the article states.
Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, will preside over the trial.
The plaintiffs are represented by Beaumont attorney Clay Dugas.
Klem is represented in part by attorney John Davis.
Case No. B177-514