Published: Friday, September 01, 1995
Page: 01C
Byline: Lawrence Messina

While living with his missionary parents in Africa nearly 40 years ago, a South Charleston chemist was repeatedly molested by a Baptist minister, his lawsuit filed Thursday alleged.

David E. Darr filed the lawsuit in federal court in Tampa, Fla., against the Rev. Donald W. Schultz and United World Missions, with which Schultz worked.

The lawsuit alleges Schultz sexually abused Darr beginning when he was 7 years old and living in the French West Sudan, now the Republic of Mali.

Schultz allegedly molested the boy during visits to his boarding school, said Darr's lawyer, Doug Yauger. Darr lived at the school in 1957 while his parents, also missionaries, worked in the countryside, Yauger said.

Schultz, now in his 70s, lives in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, Yauger said, explaining the lawsuit's locale.

Darr filed the suit after a psychiatrist in 1992 identified the long-ago abuse as the root cause of "severe psychiatric and psychological injuries." Yauger said Darr has for some time suffered from chronic behavioral disorders.

The lawsuit also alleges Schultz terrorized Darr into silence, threatening and intimidating him. The lawsuit targets United World Missions, based in North Carolina, alleging it negligently supervised and kept on Schultz as a missionary.

Yauger said the law governing such abuse and remembering such abuse allows Darr to sue so long after the alleged episodes with Schultz.

Darr, a chemist with Union Carbide, asks for a jury trial and at least $400,000 in damages.

The Associated Press reported that Schultz declined comment Thursday.

Don Byers, director of communications for the mission at its headquarters in Union Mills, N.C., told the AP that the organization had hired a lawyer to investigate.

"Given the fact the incident was 40 years ago, we don't have anybody here in the mission currently who's been around that long who has personal knowledge of the situation," Byers said.