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AP Story about Abuse


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5 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I feel like the church should for once admit that there is fault on the part of the church, but it doesn't happen. But we as members are suppose to and repent. Why is the church never willing to apologize and want to do better. 

Apologies are what individual people do when they do something wrong. What most church critics want are apologies from the church organization for something some other church leaders or individual members did in the past.
Those individuals are the ones who should apologize. The Church as an organization will never apologize for what other people or single individuals have done, but will always want to make corrections where needed and do better. 

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12 minutes ago, JAHS said:

Apologies are what individual people do when they do something wrong. What most church critics want are apologies from the church organization for something some other church leaders or individual members did in the past.
Those individuals are the ones who should apologize. The Church as an organization will never apologize for what other people or single individuals have done, but will always want to make corrections where needed and do better. 

I thought it went to the First Presidency, I wish I could find where I read it. 

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11 minutes ago, webbles said:

I've been looking for a case that might be a good example.  I think I finally found one in Washington.  You can read the appeal at https://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/732196.pdf

A man killed his wife.  He then confessed to a minister.  The minister tried to persuade him to turn himself in.  After several days, the minister called the police.  The defense tried to throw out the ministers testimony (including the initial statement to the police) based on priest-penitent privilege.  The only reason it wasn't thrown out was because the court (and the appeals court) decided that the confession wasn't covered by the priest-penitent privilege (boils down to the minister wasn't technically a minister for the man).

I think I found a better source.  This is a 57 page law review titled "Admissibility of Fruits of Breached Evidentiary Privileges: The Importance of Adversarial Fairness, Party Culpability, and Fear of Immunity" - https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1303&context=law_lawreview

It starts with a hypothetical case of a psychiatrist learning about a murder from a patient and then going to the police with it.  The police are able to find a bunch of evidence because of the statement.  It says that the statement from the psychiatrist can't be admitted as evidence but in regards to the evidence that was found because of the statement, it says:

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Although the case-law discussion is relatively undeveloped, the near universal answer is that there is no protection given to the indirect or derivative use (also termed the “fruits” of the violation) when only an evidentiary privilege is involved. The statement, “no court has ever applied [the ‘fruits of the poisonous tree’] theory to any evidentiary privilege,” is a bit of an overstatement, but it is close to accurate.

It also talks about a case dealing with priest-penitent privilege and child sexual abuse:

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In Walstad v. State, the court reached this same conclusion—that fruits of intercepted confidences protected in some instances by both the psychotherapist-patient and clergy privileges should not be excluded—but it offered a different rationale. Therran Walstad revealed child sexual abuse during counseling to a minister and certified counselor, William Webb, who reported the abuse to the authorities. As a result of the report, Alaska state troopers began an investigation, which culminated in the successful prosecution of Walstad. He moved to suppress all the evidence obtained by the troopers because it resulted entirely from the minister/counselor’s disclosure of privileged information, which he contended “was tainted and subject to suppression as a fruit of the poisonous tree.”

The court rejected Walstad’s contention principally because it concluded that the scope of evidentiary privileges did not cover the out-of-court revelation of his confidences. It ruled that privileges are of a “limited, testimonial nature” and “are not intended to restrict or govern communications between persons in general, but are instead meant to regulate disclosures occurring in the context of civil or criminal proceedings.” Since the report was an out-of-court statement that was not related to “any action, case or proceeding then pending,” the court concluded that:

[A]lthough it divulged confidential communications between Walstad and Webb, the report did not amount to a violation of the psychotherapist-patient or communications with clergy privileges. In the context in which Webb’s report was made, neither privilege attached. Because Webb’s report violated no privilege, the fruits of his report were not tainted by the violation of a privilege.

So, Walstad revealed sex abuse to his minister.  His minister told the police.  The police then found evidence because of the minister's statement.  Walstad tried to suppress all evidence found because of the priest-penitent privilege and the court ruled against him.

 

It doesn't sound like breaking the priest-penitent privilege, outside of the court, would cause any evidence to be excluded.  The priest/minister/etc might be liable for breaking the privilege, though.

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1 hour ago, webbles said:

 

I think I found a better source.  This is a 57 page law review titled "Admissibility of Fruits of Breached Evidentiary Privileges: The Importance of Adversarial Fairness, Party Culpability, and Fear of Immunity" - https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1303&context=law_lawreview

It starts with a hypothetical case of a psychiatrist learning about a murder from a patient and then going to the police with it.  The police are able to find a bunch of evidence because of the statement.  It says that the statement from the psychiatrist can't be admitted as evidence but in regards to the evidence that was found because of the statement, it says:

It also talks about a case dealing with priest-penitent privilege and child sexual abuse:

So, Walstad revealed sex abuse to his minister.  His minister told the police.  The police then found evidence because of the minister's statement.  Walstad tried to suppress all evidence found because of the priest-penitent privilege and the court ruled against him.

 

It doesn't sound like breaking the priest-penitent privilege, outside of the court, would cause any evidence to be excluded.  The priest/minister/etc might be liable for breaking the privilege, though.

Thank you! I really appreciate you taking time to find that. I didn’t quite have the right google search mojo today I guess. 

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

The question, though, is what would an ecclesiastical leader be required to do if he learned that you had broken the law by harming a child.

Maybe your question? I was questioning whether confidentiality in confession is a principle for Latter-day Saints. It is for Catholics. A Catholic priest who tells anyone confessional details is excommunicated by the act (as I understand it). For Latter-day Saints, there is no similar expectation or punishment. If I confess a sin to my leader he may pass it along to others in a disciplinary hearing as he sees fit. Without my consent. 

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4 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Maybe your question? I was questioning whether confidentiality in confession is a principle for Latter-day Saints. It is for Catholics. A Catholic priest who tells anyone confessional details is excommunicated by the act (as I understand it). For Latter-day Saints, there is no similar expectation or punishment. If I confess a sin to my leader he may pass it along to others in a disciplinary hearing as he sees fit. Without my consent. 

Okay.  Apologies for any confusion.

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20 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Last one was I think. Didn’t see the other two.

I posted the public square one in one of the threads on this.

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10 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Is this true though? If I as an elders quorum president confess to ongoing adultery to my bishop, can he pass the information on the the SP to convene a membership council? If confidentiality was a principle, the answer is surely not without my permission. No? But church policy says a council is mandatory. No?

Yes, but I don’t think internal church confessions and councils should be conflated with sharing with legal authorities who have the power of prosecution and imprisonment. 

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4 hours ago, Nofear said:

The Church is getting a lot of flak over this. Admittedly the PR statement wasn't the best, though I can't say bycommonconsent's version is all that fair of a version.

https://bycommonconsent.com/2022/08/05/a-few-minor-and-hopefully-helpful-editing-suggestions-on-the-lds-churchs-recent-statement-about-abuse/

And the church deserves to get flak and their law firm deserves to get flak. And last but not least, the two bishops & the mother that were all aware of this horrific abuse right under their noses, deserve to get flak. To think, they all slept for 2,920 nights (stands for 8 years, 1st year the creep confessed and got counseling and then 7 yrs until he was caught outside of any help from the church), all those nights, knowing about it and not saving two innocent precious little girls from rape and abuse. The bishops were beholden to the church's law firm's advice and told they could be sued. Oh dear, I guess they were more worried about their pocket book or for disregarding advisement from the K&M law firm.

But why is the church getting sued? It's simple, it's because they do what they did in this case. They (bishops/stake presidents and the leaders) become the middle men in between an abused victim and getting help from law enforcement (whoever reads this and tells me that the church's helpline hasn't had bishops tell victims or victim's family not to report, are flat out misinformed).

Maybe this will turn over a new leaf hopefully. I think it would do a world of good if clergy are made to report no matter what. Oh, wait, some here think that the perps won't confess and it's needed to find out who out there is doing the abusing, great...wait but they can't tell anyone what's been confessed, a lot of good that did. 

And think of this, the church can't be sued, how can it? It's up to the doctor, the teacher, and all the people that are mandated to report it right? So there goes the lawsuits, how can the church be sued, unless of course it's the church's members doing the abusing...oh, back to square one. But how can the church get sued for their members who break the law and abuse? Oh, back to square one again, they can't really, it's only when the church knew about it and don't do anything to stop it and hide it, and that must be why someone might want to sue. Or I'm up in the night, which I really am.

 

Edited by Tacenda
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She may not have seen bruises or known about the sexual abuse.  But at the point I knew that someone needed to get out and might need my help to do so, I'd be reporting to someone my concerns.    It can be neglect to --- being kept from any help is enough to report (though can be very badly managed by an investigating agency who can make it worse). 

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17 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

This story, on the heels this week of the other story about the BSA Bankruptcy judge rejecting the church's $250MM settlement on condition that the church wouldn't be liable for other claims. This firmed up in my mind that the church's main concern is about the money and reputation. Thankfully the church has a $100B+ slush fund to help pay out on this crap, but it blows my mind that the church would continue to be so unwilling to make some reasonable changes that would protect victims AND the church simultaneously.

This is a completely separate issue.    The bankruptcy court is unwilling to extend the protection of bankruptcy beyond the Boy Scouts of America which is the one who filed for bankruptcy.    Over the years it has become increasingly common for all contributors to ask for it a guarantee of no suits , but this bankruptcy court has determined NOT to expand the bankruptcy protection.    The Church is paying higher proportion into the fund than represents its own liability.   And going without the settlement language will make their risk of additional suits higher, but the Church was just asking for what every contributing partner does in bankruptcy courts AND GOT until now even though it has always been a reach beyond bankruptcy protection.

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Thanks for the Transparency link.  This is what it says there (without citation).

Quote

Herrod told Edwards that he believed the initial confession from Paul occurred in 2011. During this confession, it was disclosed to the bishop that the Adams daughter, who was six years old at the time, was being sexually abused and that the assaults were being video recorded. Herrod said that over the next 2 years, Paul continued to come and see him on a regular basis and often told him that the abuse was ongoing. Leizza was present during many of these confessions and, according to Herrod, would usually have no reaction to the disclosures.

I didn't realize that the wife was there.   Legally you don't have a privilege with a third party party present (though someone can stop their wife from testifying against them in court).  The bishop could/should have encouraged wife to report and report if she didn't.   It sounds like the bishop didn't take care of her very well either.

I also didn't realize that the bishop was also a dr who would need to be particularly careful about confidentiality laws.

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1 hour ago, rpn said:

She may not have seen bruises or known about the sexual abuse.  But at the point I knew that someone needed to get out and might need my help to do so, I'd be reporting to someone my concerns.    It can be neglect to --- being kept from any help is enough to report (though can be very badly managed by an investigating agency who can make it worse). 

Just look at the Turpin family situation and the children abused by their foster family. I just get sick that people could do this. https://people.com/crime/turpin-siblings-physical-sexual-abuse-after-house-horrors-escape/

Children continually falling through the cracks.

But the fact that anything is better than the abuse the two daughters endured says how bad it really was. I'm so glad the daughter in the AP article is happy now. And hope her little sister is as well. And I'm glad the dad is dead.

Edited by Tacenda
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9 hours ago, Tacenda said:

And the church deserves to get flak and their law firm deserves to get flak...

An incredible short coming, a grievous mistake, an awful scenario, and a call to help improve our systems. Alas, that isn't the call. The general accusations are the system is broken, just there to protect the Church, a moral failure.

What are the results of those systems? A crude estimate places abuse rates 1/60th what others systems experience (as we have practices that naturally work against abusers) and a reporting system (the hotline) that also results in criminal prosecutions and help for the abused. A situation fell through the cracks. It isn't and won't be the only one. Let's shore up an already robust system of policies to help improve things. I just don't see the Savior's response (millstone comments included) being what the bloggernacle is doing.

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7 minutes ago, Nofear said:

An incredible short coming, a grievous mistake, an awful scenario, and a call to help improve our systems.
 

Did the church acknowledge any of this? I thought it was their position that they did nothing wrong here. 

7 minutes ago, Nofear said:

What are the results of those systems? A crude estimate places abuse rates 1/60th what others systems experience (as we have practices that naturally work against abusers) and a reporting system (the hotline) that also results in criminal prosecutions and help for the abused. 

Can you point me to that estimate? I must have missed it

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11 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Did the church acknowledge any of this? I thought it was their position that they did nothing wrong here.

Not in the PR releases. The publicist who wrote it was too defensive. Sometimes, even with the best of policies and practices, errors happen that fail to address the horrors that happen. I suspect that acknowledging that would have been helpful, albeit minimally.

12 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Can you point me to that estimate? I must have missed it

From the AP or enraged maddicted bloggernacle? No, no that estimate won't be mentioned.
https://publicsquaremag.org/editorials/are-reported-sexual-abuse-cases-exceptional-or-illustrative-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ/

Instead, they want the Savior with his whip to come through the "temple" and cast out the money-changers in the Church bureaucracy.
 

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1 hour ago, Nofear said:

Not in the PR releases. The publicist who wrote it was too defensive. Sometimes, even with the best of policies and practices, errors happen that fail to address the horrors that happen. I suspect that acknowledging that would have been helpful, albeit minimally.

From the AP or enraged maddicted bloggernacle? No, no that estimate won't be mentioned.
https://publicsquaremag.org/editorials/are-reported-sexual-abuse-cases-exceptional-or-illustrative-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ/

Instead, they want the Savior with his whip to come through the "temple" and cast out the money-changers in the Church bureaucracy.
 

The public square article seems like more of the same hide our eyes so we don't see problems reaction.  And so what if we have less abuse?  No abuse should be tolerated.  There are pedophiles among every population and we aren't immune.  Let's just admit this.  We are in the middle of trying to settle a huge boy scout lawsuit to the tune of $250,000,000.00 https://www.axios.com/local/salt-lake-city/2022/08/03/latter-day-saint-boy-scout-abuse-settlement-rejected  because our systems weren't working there.  It doesn't mean that the church is somehow less than, just that we need to be vigilant and need to clean up the mess made by sinful evil people among us.  So, let's clean it up already.

Edited by Harry T. Clark
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7 minutes ago, Harry T. Clark said:

The public square article seems like more of the same hide our eyes so we don't see problems reaction.  And so what if we have less abuse?  No abuse should be tolerated.  There are pedophiles among every population and we aren't immune.  Let's just admit this. 

No one, not even the article I linked, is saying that abuse should be tolerated or that it doesn't happen. Let's grieve the failure and do better. The bloggernacle's rage is not particularly helpful and in some cases, were the "advice" given listened to would result in worse outcomes. Sensationalist, heightened emotions almost never result in good public policies. And, I suspect, in many cases "good public outcomes" are not the goal of the enraged at all. Some just want an excuse to accuse the Church.
 

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