Two Cases of Child Pornography in the LDS Church Demand Attention from LDS Leaders
Two recent cases involving Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints staff and child pornography requires that LDS leadership take steps to share this information where the community where each men worked and call for victims and witnesses to come forward and make a report to police.
Although these two crimes are not directly related, with one arrest in California and another in Missouri, they share links in that each person arrested is a leader within Mormon Church and both involve pornography and an abuse of power. We applaud federal authorities for their work bringing a former LDS bishop to task and for preventing even more children from being victimized. We also applaud Mountain View, CA police for their work in arresting the LDS missionary, Hayden Hunter, who was trading in pornography. Each community is safer thanks to the work from secular law enforcement officials.
Now we call on the Mormon church to be fully transparent regarding both of these men. Child pornography is a crime with an extremely long shelf life, potentially stigmatizing the victims for life. It can also be a warning sign of child abuse. It is obvious the Mormon church needs to do more to vet and supervise its missionaries and more senior clerics.
We call on the LDS leadership to publicize the entire work histories of both men and to ask members of the church in each community where they worked to report any crimes they know about to law enforcement. The sooner that church leadership reaches out, the sooner that other potential victims can be found and current victims can heal.
CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP Board Member([email protected], 415-341-6417), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP San Francisco ([email protected], 925-708-6175) Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)