UT—LDS church poised to fight subpoena in sexual abuse case, SNAP responds
For immediate release, January 7, 2017
Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda, volunteer member of the Board of Directors of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175)
The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), Thomas S. Monson, has been subpoenaed by lawyers in a civil suit to answer questions about what Monson knows about accusations of sexual abuse in a church-run program on a Navajo reservation during the 1960s and 1970s. Monson is the only official from the time who is still alive. The LDS has indicated that they intend to try to quash the subpoena.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, believes that the best way to protect children, as well as insure a just result in the lawsuit, is to have the Mormon leader reveal what, if anything, he knows about abuse allegations within the program. The victims’ group urges the LDS Church to rethink their position and to allow Monson to freely testify in the deposition. Should the Mormons continue with their intended course of action, SNAP hopes that the judge in the proceeding will order Monson to comply with the subpoena.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested in all institutional settings, including churches, schools, clubs, and homes. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
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.