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Sex-Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Mormon Church

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"A lawsuit filed Friday against the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a former church bishop and a former missionary, claims a woman was repeatedly sexually abused when she was a teenager."

 

Why do people sometimes wait 30 years or more to finally bring something like this out in the open? 

 

http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/crime_courts/2014/05/02/mormon-missionary-sexual-abuse-lawsuit/8628203/

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I cannot, for the life of me, understand how these allegations, as egregious as they are if proven, wouldn't run up against a statute of limitations.  Her attorney would have to be alleging some kind of ongoing conspiracy. 

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As with such cases that dealt with the Catholic church, the law often waves (for lack of a better term) the statue of limitations on sex crimes committed against minors.  This is because the psychological aspect of the abuse is so detrimental that it is often adulthood before the person is really capable of reporting it.

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It would be interesting to understand why her parents let her travel across the country to spend time with a 20 something year old man when she was 13.  Not that that excuses what he did if he did it.  It just makes me wonder about her home life a little bit.

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At least they keep the names of the alleged perpetrators confidential in case it doesn't go anywhere. 

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I am of two minds about applying a statute of limitations (or the civil litigation equivalent) to cases involving the rape of a child (imo, a more appropriate description of a 13 year old victim of sexual abuse, than “teenager.” )  On the one hand, the law should make allowances for the inability  of traumatized child victims to come forward until decades later.  On the other hand, a 30 year delay may make it impossible for an innocent man to defend himself.
 
Unfortunately, the newspaper account is so confusing that it is difficult to tell whether the case has any merit.  For example:

After Tyler's child was born, the lawsuit claims that the missionary paid for her to go to New York, where he attempted to cause her to miscarry "by physically abusing her body.

 
Why wound the alleged perpetrator attempt to induce a miscarriage after the child was born?  And why would the parents of any 13 year old girl (let alone one who was pregnant) allow her to fly across the country to visit a man in his mid-20s with whom they were only casually acquainted, and that for only 4-5 months?
 
BTW, why wasn’t the missionary’s companion also sued for his negligence?  He apparently did nothing when his companion repeatedly violated the “principles and rules for missionaries' conduct, which include being with a designated companion at all times.”  Also, has there been any attempt to locate the child (even if raised by adopted parents)?  A simple DNA test could establish paternity

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"Why wound the alleged perpetrator attempt to induce a miscarriage after the child was born? "

 

That would be a neat trick.  I know some parents who wish they could do that.

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All together now  DEEP  POCKETS

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I am a thoughtless, sexist, racist pig; I just have a difficult time lending any credence to this story.  Both my eyes must be jaundiced....and the fact that I am a pig.  

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"Since the bishop of the church and the Mormon church itself set the principles and rules for missionaries' conduct, which include being with a designated companion at all times and subject to rules regarding members of the opposite sex, they bear responsibility for acts of damages caused by the sexual abuse, according to the lawsuit."

So if they didn't have the rules, the Church wouldn't be liable?

"Kinslow also claims that the Mormon church attempted to cover up the missionary's past propensity toward sexual abuse and the acts against Tyler, concealing information from her parents, law enforcement and child protective services."

So there are other claims? Any evidence given anywhere?

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"Tyler contends she was sexually abused at least once a week"

Missionaries come over to their house and one disappears with one's daughter once a week for five months...where are the parents in this?

Where are the parents on a 13/14 year old trip to New York, did she want to go at the time or did her parents force her to for some reason? The missionary paid for her to go...no red flag there?

Not saying if it happened, anything excuses the former missionary's behaviour. He should be excommunicated, pay damages and probably jail time and his life show be gone over with a fine tooth comb to ensure if he has harmed anyone else they get help as well. And his former companion should be questioned as well.

However, that sill leaves me to wonder the family dynamics, I assume they didn't know she was pregnant when she went but why were they even comfortable with the idea?

They corrected the error:

" And that after she became pregnant, the lawsuit claims that the missionary paid for her to go to New York, where he attempted to cause her to miscarry "by physically abusing her body."

"Tyler told the local bishop of the alleged abuse, her attorney Michael J. Kinslow said Friday, adding that rather than report the incident to authorities the bishop sought to send Tyler "out of the area and take the child from her and give it to another Mormon couple to raise.""

I highly doubt most social workers at the time would have though it wise for a 14 year old to raise a child and likely would have pushed for adoption. The attitudes towards teen mothers was quite, quite different my memory says (I remember the reaction to a young girl--6th grader---in Kansas I tutored at school ,disappearing' to stay with family elsewhere because she got pregnant, it was just accepted that was what was by her peer group as far as I could tell given they said it had happened with her cousin and their overall reaction I have no clue what religion they were, if any but there wasn't yet the idea that babies could have fun bringing up babies, they still saw it as something horrible, the young lady herself had sworn to me after telling me the story of her cousin it was never going to happen to her....so heartbreaking).

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A little more info in this article:

 

http://banning-beaumont.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/mormon-missionary-accused-of-raping-teen-fathering-child-in-palm-desert55383

 

 

"He would say Tyler was pretty and ask her age, pick her up from school, and flirt with and touch her while at the mall, movies and other places. He would enter Tyler's bedroom window after dark to sexually abuse her, according to the complaint."

Can't believe all this was going on without his companion knowing about it or doing something to stop it.

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A little more info in this article:

 

http://banning-beaumont.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/mormon-missionary-accused-of-raping-teen-fathering-child-in-palm-desert55383

 

 

"He would say Tyler was pretty and ask her age, pick her up from school, and flirt with and touch her while at the mall, movies and other places. He would enter Tyler's bedroom window after dark to sexually abuse her, according to the complaint."

Can't believe all this was going on without his companion knowing about it or doing something to stop it.

 

I haven't known too many missionaries that went to the movies.

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A little more info in this article:

 

http://banning-beaumont.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/mormon-missionary-accused-of-raping-teen-fathering-child-in-palm-desert55383

 

 

"He would say Tyler was pretty and ask her age, pick her up from school, and flirt with and touch her while at the mall, movies and other places. He would enter Tyler's bedroom window after dark to sexually abuse her, according to the complaint."

Can't believe all this was going on without his companion knowing about it or doing something to stop it.

 

IF here allegations are proved false she should be fined a few million dollars so that she works the rest of her life in poverty while funding a charity that assist real victims of sexual abuse. Further, she should have to assist sexual abuse victims; mop their floors, wash their windows, cook their meals, do whatever that makes their lives easier and better.  These allegations are just so outlandish.  Knowing how stupid we humans can be I don't want to say it is impossible, but this is just so improbable I remain unconvinced of any validity except that we have a twit that wants her two minutes of notoriety.  

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IF here allegations are proved false she should be fined a few million dollars so that she works the rest of her life in poverty while funding a charity that assist real victims of sexual abuse. Further, she should have to assist sexual abuse victims; mop their floors, wash their windows, cook their meals, do whatever that makes their lives easier and better.  These allegations are just so outlandish.  Knowing how stupid we humans can be I don't want to say it is impossible, but this is just so improbable I remain unconvinced of any validity except that we have a twit that wants her two minutes of notoriety.  

 

and money.

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"Since the bishop of the church and the Mormon church itself set the principles and rules for missionaries' conduct, which include being with a designated companion at all times and subject to rules regarding members of the opposite sex, they bear responsibility for acts of damages caused by the sexual abuse, according to the lawsuit."

So if they didn't have the rules, the Church wouldn't be liable?

"Kinslow also claims that the Mormon church attempted to cover up the missionary's past propensity toward sexual abuse and the acts against Tyler, concealing information from her parents, law enforcement and child protective services."

So there are other claims? Any evidence given anywhere?

 

Since when does the Bishop et the principles and rules of missionaries conduct? I was under the impression that the rules were Churchwide, with as needed direction by the Mission President. Bishop had nothing to do with the matter.

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I haven't known too many missionaries that went to the movies.

 

I don't know any. Nor do I know any that hung out with girls at the mall.

 

Story just doesn't ring true.

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I know a girl who got pregnant by the missionary who baptized her. He snuck out if his apartment one night and in thru her window and one thing led to another.

She was 18 so it wasn't a case of sexual abuse, and they actually got married though I don't think their relationship was very good.

Having personal knowledge of that though it's not hard for me to imagine this girl had similar things happen. What I don't understand is why the church would be liable for a missionary who was completely breaking the rules.

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It is conceivable that the bishop might not have reported the incident to the authorities, as the legal reporting requirements (IIRC) were more lax or at least not as widely understood and/or as strictly enforced as they are today.  (No excuse.  Simply trying to decide how much of the story is plausible.)  But I cannot believe that the bishop would not have reported the incident to the mission president and the missionary quickly excommunicated and sent home, rather than merely “sent out of the area.”  For that matter, since when has a bishop had the authority to send a  missionary anywhere?  The  article claimed that the missionary abused the victim over a 4-5 month period.  It is hardly unusual for a missionary to be transferred “out of the area” after 4-5 months.. 

 

The missionary made nearly two dozen social visits the family, so the parents probably knew where he was from.  He  shows unusual attention to their 13 year old daughter.  A few months after he is transferred and/or returns home, she flies off to NY.  A few months later, she gives birth, and it never occurred to them that the missionary might be the father?  Did they report these facts to social services at the time, let alone their suspicions?   

 

I suppose anything is possible.  He wouldn’t be the first missionary to do something despicable, nor would his companion be the first to be lazy and irresponsible.  (It would indeed be miraculous if their weren’t a few bad apples among the hundreds of thousands who have served missions).  But given the 30 year time gap and the implausibility of her story, the victim needs more than her own testimony and the fact that the accused visited her home in the presence of her parents.   For starters, proof of her NY trip, and proof that the missionary sent her the money for the trip.  And some sort of physical evidence of paternity. Surely, even in 1985, the hospital would have contacted social services when a 13/14 year old girl gives birth, and social services would have made sure that the hospital, determined the baby’s blood type, at the least.. I would also like to see some evidence that the missionary was out of contact with his companion for lengthy periods of time.  

 

DNA testing would also be nice.  But given the time interval and that the child was probably raised by adoptive parents, locating the child might be impossible..

 

BTW, I wonder if the plaintiff has been able to locate the alleged actual perpetrator after the elapse of 30 years, let alone serve him with the complaint.  

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Having personal knowledge of that though it's not hard for me to imagine this girl had similar things happen. What I don't understand is why the church would be liable for a missionary who was completely breaking the rules.

I am not an attorney.  But I think the legal theory is that the missionary was an official church representative and that the church failed to adequately supervise him.  They plaintiff also alleges that the church was aware of similar misconduct prior to his mission, but sent him on a mission anyway.  Also that the bishop failed to report the abuse to the proper authorities and to her parents and tried to cover it up by sending the missionary out of the area. (the last part, of course, is nonsense.  Bishops cannot send missionaries out of the area, and it is hardly unusual for missionaries to be transferred after 4-5 months.)

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What I don't understand is why the church would be liable for a missionary who was completely breaking the rules.

I believe it would depend on what happened after the allegations were known to the Church?

Generally though, I believe your understanding of "employer" culpability is correct - an "employer" is not responsible for an "employee" acting outside the scope of employment.

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The child was raised by the mother.

My question is what happened in the hospital when the baby was born. Did she refuse to give the name of the missionary? Why wouldn't the parents share that info with police at least as a possibility. Granted she says she was pressured not to say anything, but she kept the kid...someone at law enforcement, her school or child protection services must have gotten involved...if so, what happened and if not, why not?

Why not sue her own parents for not reporting him?

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And how would the bishop know about the missionary's history? Do bishops get such information or the mission president's?

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And how would the bishop know about the missionary's history? Do bishops get such information or the mission president's?

 

I don't think the bishop gets much more than "hi this is my new missionary companion.  He transferred here last Thursday".

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