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Bedford County compound leader faces $75M lawsuit for alleged sexual abuse against minor

One woman says she was sexually abused in the 1990s and 2000s, then escaped the compound in 2007 at the age of 27

A $75M lawsuit has been filed in Bedford County court, claiming decades of sexual abuse by the head of a local compound.
A $75M lawsuit has been filed in Bedford County court, claiming decades of sexual abuse by the head of a local compound.

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – A $75 million lawsuit was filed in Bedford County Circuit Court Wednesday, claiming decades of sexual abuse by the head of a local compound.

The complex includes Legacy International and World Community, advertised online as an 80-acre, rural property featuring educational and training programs since the 1970s.

“When I physically escaped, I took my person out of that place and out of that danger. And this moment is when I am claiming my own narrative,” said the woman identified as M.B.

She says she was sexually abused in the 1990s and 2000s, then escaped the compound in 2007 at the age of 27.

We’re told the facility is still functioning, and there are a school on-premises.

M.B. and her attorney filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against World Community, Legacy International, and its founder J.E. Rash.

“Mr. Rash’s actions, around the compound and in the compound, were no secret to anybody there. He routinely called to have our client excused from class to be able, essentially, to separate her from any other adult supervision,” said Kevin Biniazan, M.B.’s attorney.

They allege the actions were non-consensual and M.B. isn’t the only victim.

“I, beyond a shadow of a doubt, know there were women and children before me and after me. It was just known,” said M.B.

She hopes others will come forward.

No official word yet if authorities ever investigated the compound.

“We hope that this lawsuit actually creates some criminal inquiry from local authorities,” said Biniazan.

We reached out to World Community and Legacy International but have not heard back.

You can read the full complaint below:


About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.