ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A small evangelical church group has invoked the First Amendment in asking a Maryland judge to dismiss a lawsuit accusing church leaders of covering up allegations of sexual abuse.

Sovereign Grace Ministries says in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that Maryland courts can’t get involved in the internal affairs of church business. The church group’s lawyers also say the case should be thrown out because its allegations are so vague. For instance, they say the lawsuit leaves unclear how old the plaintiffs were at the time they say suffered abuse.

The suit was filed in Montgomery County. The church recently moved its headquarters from Maryland to Louisville, Ky.

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