Neipp is my family member and therefore I can confirm that he is 100% guilty. Whether or not the Church is responsible is the question though. The Church had regulations in place at the time of the abuse in the name of preventing these sorts of situations. Since then, however, additional rules have been instituted. So maybe the Church should have placed those rules earlier on. On the other hand, they’re in place now, so the accountability that the law suit is trying to hold the Church to has already been dealt with. Plus, it’s true that he was excommunicated before the abuse began. The third victim, not listed here because she wasn’t involved in the lawsuit, was abused well before he was ever called as bishop, as well as during and after, but because she’s another family member, it could hardly be construed as the Church’s fault. The article states that he was “chosen by God” to be in a leadership position. It’s also true, however, that humans are imperfect and make mistakes, even when extending callings. It’s true that people should be able to trust church leadership, but you (clearly) can never be too careful, because you never know. That’s something I’ve kept in mind as a result of this very situation. I agree that the likelihood of members not knowing about the excommunication is slim. I had always known about it but it’s possible that that’s just because it was also, of course, a family affair. A side note: I find it interesting that the press release didn’t draw the connection between Joseph and his son, Samuel, who pleaded guilty last year to multiple charges of statutory rape which, again, is too big a coincidence for innocence to be plausible for Joseph.