UT--Victims urge Mormon to “avoid delays” in abuse case

For immediate release: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home, [email protected])

A Utah judge is letting an alleged abuse victim have his day in court in a Mormon-related child sex abuse and cover up case. We are relieved and thrilled. Now, we hope church officials will now cooperate fully and quickly so the full truth can be revealed about a troubling church program which involved tens of thousands of kids over more than a half century. http://www.sltrib.com/news/4596141-155/abuse-case-against-mormon-church-to

For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, they must resist the temptation to delay justice by trying to evade discovery, block depositions and exploit legal technicalities to keep the truth concealed while discouraging other victims from coming forward and exposing those who commit and conceal sexual violence.

We especially hope Thomas S. Monson, the high-ranking Mormon official, won’t fight his deposition. Monson is old and victims are hurting. Moving quickly to shed light on the Indian Student Placement Program may embarrass some Mormon staff. But it will also go far to deter future wrongdoing and console suffering victims.

We applaud Judge U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby for this common sense ruling. We especially applaud the four wounded individuals who have found the strength to hopefully turn something horrific into something positive. They are working to use their suffering to expose crimes and cover ups so that more crimes and cover ups can be prevented. For that, they deserve the gratitude of police, prosecutors, parents and the public in both Utah and Arizona.

Lawyers for Mormon officials tried in their effort to move the lawsuit from Arizona into Utah, where the powerful church hierarchy has considerable political clout and tight personal connections. Fortunately, they failed. But this initial legal move is discouraging and suggests these Mormon officials will do what other officials in other denominations usually do – fight very hard and use every possible tactic to delay the case, hoping victims who have come forward will eventually tire and give up and hoping victims who have yet to come forward will be deterred from doing so. This is a ‘penny-wise, pound foolish’ approach that will only hurt the Mormon church more in the long term, causing employees and members to be demoralized and disgusted with such expensive, drawn-own and selfish maneuvers.

No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. 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 by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,[email protected])


Abuse case against Mormon church to continue in Navajo court; attorneys want LDS leader Monson to testify

By TOM HARVEY | The Salt Lake Tribune - Nov 16 2016

Attorneys for four Navajos suing the LDS Church over alleged sexual abuse said Wednesday they intend to subpoena the faith's president, Thomas S. Monson, to testify about the former program that placed children in Mormon homes off the reservation during the school year.

The remarks came after a federal judge in Salt Lake City rejected a church argument that Navajo tribal courts do not have jurisdiction over three lawsuits alleging that  . . . 

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