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esodije

Status of Discovery in Denson Lawsuit

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Does anyone know if the church has done any discovery in the McKenna Denson “MTC rape” lawsuit? I read sometime back that Denson’s lawyers had taken Joseph Bishop’s deposition, although seemingly the only item of interest to come out of it was that Bishop supposedly had “resigned” his church membership. If I were repping the church, I’d want to depose Denson’s ex-husband, who supposedly accompanied Denson to her alleged meeting with Carlos Asay in 1987 (and who himself is the object of Denson’s allegations that he was a serial adulterer and a child-support deadbeat); her MTC missionary companion(s), who presumably could testify about Denson’s being called out of class and wandering the MTC “companionless”; and her MTC branch president (assuming he’s still alive), who presumably would have constituted the first level of any counseling Denson might have received in the MTC.  (I’d also want to subpoena copies of her medical records, but that almost goes without saying.) I don’t have a personal stake in the case, aside from having known one of Bishop’s sons in the mission field in 1979-80; however, if Bishop truly was so depraved that he would sexually assault a sister missionary—and in the MTC of all places—I would agree that the church bears at least some responsibility for it.

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Not seeing anything new online  

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45 minutes ago, cinepro said:

Can you give us just a quick paraphrase of what they say?  I don't have 3.5 hours right now.

These are the things I remember:

Joseph Bishop Sub's in the couple's child's Sunday School class, he's in the SS presidency. Which angered the parents, and because their bishop hasn't let anyone know about Bishop yet. Also, there son had to pass the Sacrament several times to Bishop right up to the present...he apparently hasn't been disciplined yet. Recently the bishop released the whole SS Presidency, he only mentions the names of others over the pulpit and didn't say Bishop's name. Which they thought odd.

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It’s been a long time since I sat through one of Dr. John’s interviews, but this one seems particularly pointless. The local church leaders won’t physically ban a doty 85-year-old alleged sexual abuser from attending church meetings? And they even let him serve in a non-calling like the Sunday School presidency? The horror! 

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12 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I know most on here don't like podcasts, but recently a couple came on Mormonstories, they are in Bishop's ward, and they discuss what that has been like. https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/todd-and-sarah-gale/A

I watched this.  It was as if this ward was living in La La Land.  Sad.

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14 hours ago, esodije said:

Does anyone know if the church has done any discovery in the McKenna Denson “MTC rape” lawsuit? I read sometime back that Denson’s lawyers had taken Joseph Bishop’s deposition, although seemingly the only item of interest to come out of it was that Bishop supposedly had “resigned” his church membership. If I were repping the church, I’d want to depose Denson’s ex-husband, who supposedly accompanied Denson to her alleged meeting with Carlos Asay in 1987 (and who himself is the object of Denson’s allegations that he was a serial adulterer and a child-support deadbeat); her MTC missionary companion(s), who presumably could testify about Denson’s being called out of class and wandering the MTC “companionless”; and her MTC branch president (assuming he’s still alive), who presumably would have constituted the first level of any counseling Denson might have received in the MTC.  (I’d also want to subpoena copies of her medical records, but that almost goes without saying.) I don’t have a personal stake in the case, aside from having known one of Bishop’s sons in the mission field in 1979-80; however, if Bishop truly was so depraved that he would sexually assault a sister missionary—and in the MTC of all places—I would agree that the church bears at least some responsibility for it.

Ron leavitt I think will be deposed this week. I do not understand why depose Ron Leavitt; as all we know is his knowledge is POST allegation of assault.

the lawsuit is about what the Church knew before the alleged assault. With that, not sure what her companion or MTC Branch President can offer in terms of what the Church KNEW before the alleged assault.

Edited by provoman
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15 hours ago, esodije said:

 (I’d also want to subpoena copies of her medical records, but that almost goes without saying.) I don’t have a personal stake in the case, aside from having known one of Bishop’s sons in the mission field in 1979-80; however, if Bishop truly was so depraved that he would sexually assault a sister missionary—and in the MTC of all places—I would agree that the church bears at least some responsibility for it. 

And so you're suggesting it would be a good idea to dig into private information of her?   More than the info they already dug out about her that attorneys released to Bishop's atty, who was his son, who released it for all to know?    We can want justice without trying to destroy victims, and I'm pretty sure Church counsel is competent.

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1 hour ago, provoman said:

 

It is my understanding that the couple in the podcast resigned sometime ago; if that is not correct please let me know.  I only bring it because of how “current” is the information they provide.

 

Rumor from another board, claims that the topic of his membership came up during his deposition.

Sometimes I fall asleep to podcasts, I didn't think they had resigned yet, but not sure.

Edited by Tacenda

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Nothing to see here

Edited by provoman
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I guess I’m not ready to concede that the assault actually happened, despite Bishop’s having “confessed” to being a perv of sorts. I’ve had too many interactions with delusional and/or senile people not to take everything with a grain of salt; moreover, having gone through the MTC a few years before the alleged events (and knowing the layout and routine), I still believe Denson’s story to be quite implausible. I said to myself when the December 2017 audio surfaced that the real proof would lie in there being a succession of accusers (a la Bill Cosby) or solid corroborating evidence.  I guess there are one or two other accusers about whom little has come out, and there are a few points of corroboration (Denson apparently knew details about Bishop’s sexual proclivities; her MTC teacher remembered her being called out of class, though not by whom; and an ex-MTC employee stated that the downstairs room existed, at least at some point in time after Bishop was MTC president); however, that’s pretty thin gruel.

Edited by esodije
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On 1/14/2019 at 11:48 AM, rpn said:

And so you're suggesting it would be a good idea to dig into private information of her?   More than the info they already dug out about her that attorneys released to Bishop's atty, who was his son, who released it for all to know?    We can want justice without trying to destroy victims, and I'm pretty sure Church counsel is competent.

In case you haven’t noticed, it doesn’t take much digging these days to get into someone’s dirty laundry, what with online “services” like MyLife and others.  I strongly suspect the “dirt” the church had on Denson came exclusively from the same kind of search that either you or I could pay a few dollars for.  It’s axiomatic in litigation that a plaintiff throws open his/her life to close examination; in that light, I’d say the church has shown a lot of restraint so far in this matter, probably for PR reasons.

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On 1/14/2019 at 11:15 AM, provoman said:

the lawsuit is about what the Church knew before the alleged assault. With that, not sure what her companion or MTC Branch President can offer in terms of what the Church KNEW before the alleged assault.

I don’t think this is the case, as any claim based on what the church knew or didn’t know before the alleged MTC attack would be time-barred. As I read the court’s ruling on the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the only surviving count was the convoluted one about the church’s supposed ongoing fraud concerning an investigation into Bishop’s actions and subsequent disciplinary proceedings. That suggests to me that the only events at issue, as far as the church’s potential liability is concerned, date to 2010 and thereafter. And that will be an extremely difficult case to prove (and to extrapolate damages from), especially since the standard of proof in fraud cases is “clear and convincing evidence,” not “preponderance of the evidence.”

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12 minutes ago, esodije said:

I don’t think this is the case, as any claim based on what the church knew or didn’t know before the alleged MTC attack would be time-barred. As I read the court’s ruling on the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the only surviving count was the convoluted one about the church’s supposed ongoing fraud concerning an investigation into Bishop’s actions and subsequent disciplinary proceedings. That suggests to me that the only events at issue, as far as the church’s potential liability is concerned, date to 2010 and thereafter. And that will be an extremely difficult case to prove (and to extrapolate damages from), especially since the standard of proof in fraud cases is “clear and convincing evidence,” not “preponderance of the evidence.”

But her claim is she wasn't told the truth about him being a predator which would have altered her decision to go to the MTC, if I understood the claim correctly and the reason she should still be able to sue is she didn't find out about the concealment of this prior knowledge till recently.  A couple of lawyers discussed this before, if you missed those threads.

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/70895-densons-lawsuit-dismissed-by-federal-judge/?do=findComment&comment=1209842708

One rebuttal idea is she knew herself by her own experience he was a predator (if it actually happened) and therefore didn't need the Church telling her, so statue of limitations should still have run out.

Edited by Calm

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On 1/14/2019 at 3:01 PM, esodije said:

I guess I’m not ready to concede that the assault actually happened, despite Bishop’s having “confessed” to being a perv of sorts. I’ve had too many interactions with delusional and/or senile people not to take everything with a grain of salt; moreover, having gone through the MTC a few years before the alleged events (and knowing the layout and routine), I still believe Denson’s story to be quite implausible. I said to myself when the December 2017 audio surfaced that the real proof would lie in there being a succession of accusers (a la Bill Cosby) or solid corroborating evidence.  I guess there are one or two other accusers about whom little has come out, and there are a few points of corroboration (Denson apparently knew details about Bishop’s sexual proclivities; her MTC teacher remembered her being called out of class, though not by whom; and an ex-MTC employee stated that the downstairs room existed, at least at some point in time after Bishop was MTC president); however, that’s pretty thin gruel.

You might want to also read the full BYU police report on the matter.  I don't think the gruel is that thin.

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On 1/13/2019 at 11:29 PM, cinepro said:

Can you give us just a quick paraphrase of what they say?  I don't have 3.5 hours right now.

My recollection of the podcast:

  1. JLB (Joseph L Bishop) was serving as a counselor in the SS presidency which gave him access to youth (including having subbed as teacher for at least one child of the couple being interviewed in the podcast).  This was a concern for them.
  2. The couple met with their bishop to ask about JLB's standing and express concerns.  He told them something to the effect that it was in the hands of priesthood leaders but would not share any details.
  3. JLB's records were either removed or hidden from view in LDS Tools.
  4. When the SS presidency was released, some months after the story broke, JLB's name was not mentioned from the pulpit... only the president and one of the other counselors.
  5. Based on their observation and that of their Deacon son, JLB continues to take the sacrament on a regular basis.  Also, JLB seems to regularly attend sacrament meeting but often seems to leave after that.

Dehlin and Todd/Sarah Gale (interviewees) seem to imply that #3 and #4 are evidence of a cover-up by church leaders.  I actually disagree.  I think that #3 and #4 could be evidence that JLB did, in fact, resign his membership (records no longer showing up in LDS Tools and it would make sense that they wouldn't formally release him if he had resigned his membership).  Regarding #5... local leaders could just be looking the other way on his partaking of the sacrament -- from their perspective he is not a member (and not ex'd) so they might not feel a need to prohibit him from taking the sacrament.

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1 hour ago, esodije said:

I don’t think this is the case, as any claim based on what the church knew or didn’t know before the alleged MTC attack would be time-barred. As I read the court’s ruling on the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the only surviving count was the convoluted one about the church’s supposed ongoing fraud concerning an investigation into Bishop’s actions and subsequent disciplinary proceedings. That suggests to me that the only events at issue, as far as the church’s potential liability is concerned, date to 2010 and thereafter. And that will be an extremely difficult case to prove (and to extrapolate damages from), especially since the standard of proof in fraud cases is “clear and convincing evidence,” not “preponderance of the evidence.”

The fraudulent concealment is about what was known prior to the claimed assault in 1984.

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2 hours ago, rockpond said:

You might want to also read the full BYU police report on the matter.  I don't think the gruel is that thin.

So the BYU police concluded that the sister missionary whom Bishop said he asked to bare her breasts was Denson? Not only do you have to take Bishop’s statement at face value, but you have to look past the fact that Denson denied being the sister missionary who supposedly received that request. (You’ll recall that she told Bishop, in the December 2017 recording, that she had no chest to speak of at age 21.) I don’t think the BYU police report is any more conclusive than the confessions Bishop made directly to Denson.

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6 hours ago, rockpond said:

My recollection of the podcast:

  1. JLB (Joseph L Bishop) was serving as a counselor in the SS presidency which gave him access to youth (including having subbed as teacher for at least one child of the couple being interviewed in the podcast).  This was a concern for them.
  2. The couple met with their bishop to ask about JLB's standing and express concerns.  He told them something to the effect that it was in the hands of priesthood leaders but would not share any details.
  3. JLB's records were either removed or hidden from view in LDS Tools.
  4. When the SS presidency was released, some months after the story broke, JLB's name was not mentioned from the pulpit... only the president and one of the other counselors.
  5. Based on their observation and that of their Deacon son, JLB continues to take the sacrament on a regular basis.  Also, JLB seems to regularly attend sacrament meeting but often seems to leave after that.

Dehlin and Todd/Sarah Gale (interviewees) seem to imply that #3 and #4 are evidence of a cover-up by church leaders.  I actually disagree.  I think that #3 and #4 could be evidence that JLB did, in fact, resign his membership (records no longer showing up in LDS Tools and it would make sense that they wouldn't formally release him if he had resigned his membership).  Regarding #5... local leaders could just be looking the other way on his partaking of the sacrament -- from their perspective he is not a member (and not ex'd) so they might not feel a need to prohibit him from taking the sacrament.

#5 is an odd one to me. I know bishops tell people they shouldn't take the sacrament,  but I've never heard of a bishop enforcing that in some way  and if no one is enforcing it then why would it matter here?

Has anyone heard of not taking it being enforced somewhere?

Edited by Rain
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On 1/14/2019 at 12:19 PM, esodije said:

It’s been a long time since I sat through one of Dr. John’s interviews, but this one seems particularly pointless. The local church leaders won’t physically ban a doty 85-year-old alleged sexual abuser from attending church meetings? And they even let him serve in a non-calling like the Sunday School presidency? The horror! 

I understand that someone of questionable character is not allowed even to sing in the ward choir.

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1 hour ago, cdowis said:

I understand that someone of questionable character is not allowed even to sing in the ward choir.

Whew!  :o  I was really worried about that one, CDowis!  Thanks for putting my mind at ease! ;)

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4 hours ago, cdowis said:

I understand that someone of questionable character is not allowed even to sing in the ward choir.

My former stake president did not allow non-members to sing in the stake choir. Not sure if that’s a policy or not. 

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