January 10, 2020

LDS Congregation Told Not to Research Sex Abuse Case by Bishop

A recent scandal revealed a bishop in the Mormon Church told a congregation not to look into the details of a child sex abuse crime in their stake and ward. ABC4 Utah received an audio recording from a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, depicting how a bishop chose to explain, or, not explain the circumstances surrounding the case.

According to the bishop, a member of the Mormon Church was arrested for creating and possessing giant amounts of child pornography. The bishop’s name reveals anonymous, along with the name ad location of the LDS congregation in question, to protect the victims’ identities.

“We knew at some point that this day would come and we would have to make an announcement and let you be aware of what’s going on and the facts so that there would be no speculation,” the anonymous bishop said in the recording. “The appropriate measures have been taken in a ward and a stake arena to talk to families who he was near or who associated with him and it’s been discussed with them.”

However, following this statement, the bishop proceeded to ask the church members to not look into the details of the abuse.

“It’s up to us to stop the speculation and the discussion, it’s not our news to discuss, it’s our burden to share and help provide an atmosphere that the family can start to heal at some point.

The bishop followed up with asking the congregation to come to him personally if they want more information.

According to experts in child sex abuse cases, communication and open communication is extremely important in order to prevent future cases of abuse, not silence. ABC4 Utah interviewed Laurieann Thorpe, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU) who provided advice for those wondering how to address sexual abuse reports.

“The number one thing is to talk about it, with the appropriate terms so that we’re openly addressing that there is a possibility always in any circumstance of child sexual abuse,” Thorpe explained.

To read the full story and learn more about how to help prevent child sex abuse, click here. To come forward and talk to a lawyer about your rights after being abused in the Mormon Church, call us today at 877.537.2889.

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