Mormon Church Sexual Abuse
In 2019, a whistleblower told the IRS that the Mormon Church had improperly amassed around $100 billion dollars from donations that were meant to for charitable acts. Whether this true or not, it does lead one to imagine what the Church of Latter-Day Saints can do with an amount of money that is twice the size of Harvard University’s endowment. If the Mormon Church wants to put that money to good use it should perhaps consider using it to settle potential lawsuits over the claims that Bishops and other members of the clergy have been sexually abusing children.
Pic courtesy CNN Former Boy Scout Sues Mormon Church
A Long History
Claims and lawsuits against the Mormon Church go as far back as 2001, where a plaintiff was able to get $3 million dollars in compensation without the Church even being pleading guilty. Recent high-profile cases are even more disturbing. In 2013, one Bishop in California pleaded guilty to charges that included, but were not limited to, the sexual assault and sexual battery of two teenage girls. In 2017, the website MormonLeaks published a 316-page long document outlining alleged cases of sexual abuse in the Mormon Church over a period of more than 50 years. This problem has been consistent in other religious institutions like the Catholic Church.
Time for Change
Often enough victims of childhood sexual abuse do not come out to accuse their offender right away because they might have not built up the strength to do so, given the traumatic event they have just endured. In other instances, for example, cases have been brought up to Bishops in the Mormon Church who have unfortunately decided to act inappropriately, allowing time to go by without alerting the authorities. At its worst, victims have used the hotline the Mormon Church has set up to denounce sexual predators, which, judging by recently found evidence, is actually used to help the law firm representing the Church get a heads up on what cases might come up soon. The Church of Latter-Day Saints does not publish how many of the cases brought to their attention through the helpline end up in the hands of child protection, and when asked to comment about the helpline the Church declined saying “The Church does not share information about the helpline.”
Pic and story courtesy Insider.com
Regardless of what happens, valuable time usually goes by while victims suffer quietly, only to then find out that statutes of limitations set time limits on victims that want to file lawsuits against their abusers. Utah, however, is unique in this regard, as it has completely lifted its statute of limitations on lawsuits against sexual abusers of minors. States have recently pushed up the age limit for victims to file a lawsuit, as seen in California and New York, but Utah’s step towards achieving justice is more than a unique opportunity for those who thought it is too late to take action against their abusers. This is particularly helpful for those that have been sexually abused by a member of the Mormon Church, as the vast majority of congregations are found in Utah.
pic and story courtesy ksl.com
If you were sexually abused when you were a minor, or know of a loved one who has, please reach out to us as soon as possible, for you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Our team at Oppenheim Law recognizes that nothing can take back what has been done, yet we do believe you have the right to make justice happen. That is why our firm provides a team of professionals committed to zealously represent our clients.
Please feel free to contact us at (954) 384-6114 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can inform you of your legal rights so you can obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
From the Trenches,
Roy Oppenheim Mormon Church Sexual Abuse | Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys