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 Post subject: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:05 pm 
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Johnson confessed to local leaders and members of the church court that he had sexually abused a minor.
But what leaders failed to advise Johnson of is that if he confessed to the abuse, they would report his actions to local law enforcement, according to the lawsuit.
Johnson, 47, was arrested in 2017 on charges of first-degree sodomy, sexual abuse and unlawful sexual penetration for sexually abusing a girl under the age of 16.
He later pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree sexual abuse and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The lawsuit requests $5.5 million for his wife for loss of his income and for extreme emotional distress and $1 million for each of his four children.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national ... story.html

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:42 am 
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According to the suit, Johnson learned in 2016 that her husband, Timothy, engaged in inappropriate conduct with his daughter when she was underage. After that, the suit says, the couple followed the rules and scriptures of the Latter-day Saints, which require congregants to “confess their sins unto the brethren before the Lord."

Her husband confessed to a number of church leaders in their local stake, a network of local congregations, who participated as members of the church court. He told them he engaged in improper sexual contact with his minor daughter, the lawsuit states.

https://religionnews.com/2020/01/09/chu ... -doctrine/

The timeline is troubling.
Alleged offence discovered in 2016, but not reported to the police until after the Church process had been concluded in June 2017. Should the wife have reported this to the police upon discovering it in 2016?

Quote:
After that, a member of the court reported the confession to state authorities, according to the lawsuit.
The way that is phrased suggests it wasn’t his Bishop or Stake President. If it was just one of the high council men present taking matters into his own hands then the Church may have a few problems with this one.

Quote:
Eric Hawkins, spokesman for the Utah-based church, did not elaborate on the church's doctrines of confidentiality.

He did say, in a statement, that "protecting victims and ensuring proper reporting is a top priority."

"The Church teaches that leaders and members should fulfill all legal obligations to report abuse to civil authorities. In some circumstances, those obligations may be governed by their professional duty and in others by their role as clergy," Hawkins said.
It would be interesting to clarify when, in cases of abuse, a Church leaders role as clergy takes precedence over their professional duty to report it to civil authorities.

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Last edited by I have a question on Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:46 am 
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Regarding the wife's discovery...it depends on the reporting laws in Oregon.

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:47 am 
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Here's the link to Oregon's DHS reporting laws.

https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/abuse/pages/ ... eport.aspx

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:59 am 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Regarding the wife's discovery...it depends on the reporting laws in Oregon.
I was thinking more along the lines of her responsibility as a mother. It’s clear she didn’t want this reported to police but did want her husband to confess his sins to clergy. Given the law, the Stake President or Bishop seems obligated to report it, but perhaps they didn’t and it was another member of the church court panel that took it upon themselves to report it against the wishes of the family and the Church Leaders. Hence the way it is phrased in the reporting.

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:15 am 
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I have a question wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
Regarding the wife's discovery...it depends on the reporting laws in Oregon.
I was thinking more along the lines of her responsibility as a mother. It’s clear she didn’t want this reported to police but did want her husband to confess his sins to clergy. Given the law, the Stake President or Bishop seems obligated to report it, but perhaps they didn’t and it was another member of the church court panel that took it upon themselves to report it against the wishes of the family and the Church Leaders. Hence the way it is phrased in the reporting.


Yes, clergy are considered mandated reporters in Oregon. The wife was under no legal obligation to report.

Morally speaking, if that were me, I would have reported in a New York minute. Put my child in the car and phoned it in before I made it to the end of the driveway.

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:29 am 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Yes, clergy are considered mandated reporters in Oregon.

This is an imprecise remark. Clergy are not mandated reporters if abuse disclosure occurs within the context of clergy-client communication. See ORS 419B.010 and ORS 40.260. More importantly, such communication is protected under the First Amendment so it doesn't matter what reporting rules Oregon or any other state would attempt to impose on clergy communication with clients seeking religious, moral, or ethical guidance.

If anyone functioning in a clergy role disclosed this abuse, assuming the perpetrator approached them confessing the sin in order to seek forgiveness / restoration or approached them because he was wrestling with the moral conviction he was supposed to turn himself in, they violated this man's constitutional rights. Did he do something monstrous? Obviously. Does he have serious issues that need addressing? See foregoing response. That doesn't disqualify him from his rights.

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:36 am 
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No matter what happened, where, when, why and how...the kids were put at the bottom of the todem pole. Ultimately, imo, this is the biggest disgrace.


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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:42 am 
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candygal wrote:
No matter what happened, where, when, why and how...the kids were put at the bottom of the todem pole. Ultimately, imo, this is the biggest disgrace.

How both of these parents treated not only the primary victim (the abused daughter) but also the secondary victims (her siblings) is... I'm not sure what word one would use. "Monstrous," from my previous post, is a start.

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:02 pm 
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Chuck Finley wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
Yes, clergy are considered mandated reporters in Oregon.

This is an imprecise remark. Clergy are not mandated reporters if abuse disclosure occurs within the context of clergy-client communication. See ORS 419B.010 and ORS 40.260. More importantly, such communication is protected under the First Amendment so it doesn't matter what reporting rules Oregon or any other state would attempt to impose on clergy communication with clients seeking religious, moral, or ethical guidance.

If anyone functioning in a clergy role disclosed this abuse, assuming the perpetrator approached them confessing the sin in order to seek forgiveness / restoration or approached them because he was wrestling with the moral conviction he was supposed to turn himself in, they violated this man's constitutional rights. Did he do something monstrous? Obviously. Does he have serious issues that need addressing? See foregoing response. That doesn't disqualify him from his rights.


That was a remark based on the DHS website listing of mandated reporters in the state of Oregon. According to the revised statutes, it appears you're exactly right. Someone should probably take that up with Department of Human Services.

Yeah okay, I'll do it. :rolleyes:

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:13 am 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Yeah okay, I'll do it. :rolleyes:

This appears to be sarcasm or snark, the purpose or benefit of which--in this exchange--I cannot discern.

The site you reference has a little box at the bottom where one can enter recommendations for improving that page. Don't worry, I committed the three minutes required to send them a note recommending they likewise note and provide a citation for exemptions to the mandated reporting requirements.

One can bemoan the state of the world, or one can make efforts to introduce change...

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:04 pm 
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I will lose no sleep over this, and I'm glad this man is going to spend 15 years in jail. Got to say, don't have a lot of respect for this lady who filed the lawsuit. Protect your damn kids, and stop blaming the church for doing what is right, for once. I'm tired of folks using "the church" and religion to justify and hide their deplorable actions. The guy molested his own child. He can rot in hell for all I care.

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:31 pm 
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Interestingly...
Quote:
A Utah lawmaker wants to force clergy to report child abuse to law enforcement even if the information comes from a penitent abuser. Right now, state law exempts bishops, priests, pastors and other clerics from reporting child abuse or neglect when a perpetrator confesses to a faith leader.
“My first obligation is to children and vulnerable populations being exploited by people who hide behind the fact they have confessed to a religious leader,” Rep. Angela Romero told The Tribune. “ ... Some of these individuals have gone on to perpetrate and harm other children.”
Such mandatory reporting is seen as a bridge too far for many religious leaders, who insist these measures violate their First Amendment rights.
LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said “the church would need to review the bill and its implications before taking a position.”

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2020/01 ... rmon-land/

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:07 pm 
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Chuck Finley wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
Yeah okay, I'll do it. :rolleyes:

This appears to be sarcasm or snark, the purpose or benefit of which--in this exchange--I cannot discern.


It's always a good idea to ask a question and find out.

Quote:
The site you reference has a little box at the bottom where one can enter recommendations for improving that page. Don't worry, I committed the three minutes required to send them a note recommending they likewise note and provide a citation for exemptions to the mandated reporting requirements.


Let's hope someone reads you recommendation.

Quote:
One can bemoan the state of the world, or one can make efforts to introduce change...


Really? I didn't know that. :rolleyes:

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:11 pm 
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cwald wrote:
I will lose no sleep over this, and I'm glad this man is going to spend 15 years in jail. Got to say, don't have a lot of respect for this lady who filed the lawsuit. Protect your damn kids, and stop blaming the church for doing what is right, for once. I'm tired of folks using "the church" and religion to justify and hide their deplorable actions. The guy molested his own child. He can rot in hell for all I care.

Old boy should spend more than 15 years, in my opinion. But how we learned of his guilt is the problem. Fruit of the poisonous tree, and such.

The issue in view isn't disgusting people hiding behind religion to continue to do evil. The issue is whether I can go to my religious leader and make a confession about something wrong I did, trusting it will remain privileged information as the law provides and many churches now teach. Any clergyman worth his salt would, in my opinion, let the confessing party know that part of moving forward would include fixing what he or she did and paying the consequences, whatever they may be.

Honestly, I'd like to know what the high council and Stake Pres determined before the public divulgence of the crimes. Did they find the man guilty of "serious sin" and perhaps decide his case was going to require review at a more senior level? Did they advise him he needed to turn himself in to the authorities? Perhaps a court case would provide insight into such information.

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 Post subject: Re: Church being sued for reporting child sexual abuse.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:13 pm 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Chuck Finley wrote:
This appears to be sarcasm or snark, the purpose or benefit of which--in this exchange--I cannot discern.


It's always a good idea to ask a question and find out.

Was that sarcasm or snark? If so, to what end?

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