CA - Child sex abuse victim to get $27 million
Calling a jury decision “a watershed moment for children’s safety in the Jehovah’s Witnesses,” a self help group for men and women who were molested by denomination members is praising the child sex abuse victim who took her case to court this week in California.
Yesterday, Bay Area jurors awarded $21 million in punitive damages – on top of an earlier $7 million in actual damages – to an Oakland woman who was sexually assaulted as a child by a now-convicted Jehovah’s Witness.
“Until now, a jury has virtually never held the JW national headquarters responsible for repeated heinous child sex crimes and cover ups by church members or officials,” said William Bowen of Nashville, who founded and heads a support group for those molested by Jehovah’s Witnesses (270-703-2257, email@example.com) “This is a ground-breaking case and a watershed award against an especially callous group of church bureaucrats.”
“The Jehovah Witnesses have the most dangerous abuse policy on the planet – requiring two eyewitnesses to a child sex crime before an accusation can be deemed ‘credible,’” said William Bowen of Kentucky, who founded and heads a support group for for those molested by Jehovah’s Witnesses (270-703-2257, firstname.lastname@example.org) “So justice and prevention isn’t happening within the church, and that’s why this decision is so crucial. We hope it prods more JW victims to report child sex crimes to secular authorities and take legal action to expose predators and protect kids.”
In 2007, 17 victims shared a $13 million dollar settlement from church officials. It involved victims in three states California, Texas and Oregon and six Jehovah Witnesses perpetrators.
Bowen says this is the largest amount the Jehovah’s Witness have ever had to pay in one child sex case.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.