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More Abuse Allegations Turn Up At Willow Creek Church

SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill. (CBS) -- New allegations of abuse have surfaced at the suburban megachurch Willow Creek.

This time, the allegations involve longtime church member Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian.

Willow Creek Community Church announced this past weekend that a decade ago, another church member went to church officials with claims that Bilezikian forcibly hugged, kissed, and touched her.

The church's Elder Response Team said it believed Bilezikian engaged in similar inappropriate behavior as long ago as the mid-1980s.

"The ERT did restrict him from serving, but the restriction was not adequately communicated, resulting in Dr. Bilezikian serving and teaching in various capacities over the years," the church said in a letter to congregants. "This was wrong, and we are sorry."

Bilezikian was a mentor to former Willow Creek Senior Pastor Bill Hybels, who was forced out in 2018 over similar misconduct allegations.

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The church is still searching for a senior pastor.

The current interim pastor will be leaving his position in March.

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