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.
Mormon Bishop Arrested for Owning Child Porn, Denied Bail
Investigators Suspect LDS Bishop May Have Sexually Abused
A Latter-day Saints bishop has been arrested for owning
thousands of images of child pornography, and investigators suspect he may have
sexually abused children, as well. According to The Salt
Lake Tribune, Timothy James Hallows, a Mormon bishop from Kaysville, Utah,
was booked October 16 into the Davis County jail.
Law enforcement denied Hallows bail, calling him a “substantial
danger” to the community and a flight risk. Investigators arrested Hallows on
suspicion of eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, which could lead
to a maximum 15-year prison sentence if he is charged and convicted.
Revealed through a probable cause statement, law enforcement
was made aware of Hallows’ crimes through a tip made by Microsoft. Microsoft
owns the video-chat app Skype, which the company said a user had been utilizing
to upload and send out pictures of child porn. Microsoft alerted the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children of the crimes on August 6.
Responding to the tip, investigators from Davis County
served a subpoena on Comcast on October 3. This subpoena led to Hallows’ home
and IP address in Kaysville, where he was arrested. Federal, state, and local
officials with the Internet Crimes Against Children task force served a search
warrant of Hallows’ home on October 16, investigators found thousands of child
porn images, some of them including images of child abuse.
According to the statement, Hallows talked to investigators,
waving his Miranda rights against self-incrimination. The 61-year-old man
admitted to taking pictures of children on various camping trips he went on as
part of his role as a Mormon bishop. The statement also indicated that when
asked whether he had sexual contact with kids, Hallows “…stated uh huh, and
shook his head in affirmation.”
Sexual Abuse in the Mormon Church
Only in the last decade have survivors of sexual abuse in
the Mormon Church started coming forward and holding their abusers in the
Church accountable for their actions. According to allegations, for years the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has silenced reports of sexual
abuse through quiet dismissals, not reporting cases to the police, and using
personal Church-sanctioned lawyers to settle complaints with victims. In doing
so, potentially hundreds of predators within the Church have not been brought
to justice for their crimes, left to abuse more children.
If you were abused by an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or had your abuse report silenced by the Mormon Church, you need to know you are not alone. There are resources available to help you through this difficult time, and we want to help you know and understand your options so you can recover and heal. To learn more about your options after being sexually abused in the Mormon Church, talk with us today. We have caring, compassionate professionals standing by 24/7 to answer your questions and concerns, and we promise the information you share with us is kept confidential.