A church in New York City reportedly investigated sexual abuse cases independently that involved missionaries and a stake president. However, it failed to inform law enforcement authorities.
A newly-leaked 2012 document published by whistleblower website MormonLeaks showed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints internally investigated the harrowing allegations.
Kirton McKonkie, a Utah law firm, reportedly prepared the document titled “Special Investigations and Projects.” The website’s founder, Ryan McKnight, said it was provided to him by a source who is “beyond reproach.”
In one instance, as mentioned in the leaked documents, a missionary admitted to sexually abusing a 15-year-old. The missionary reportedly fondled and kissed the minor.
“The missionary department is reluctant to send this elder home where he may face prosecution for a felony,” the document read.
In three other cases, missionaries were accused of sexually abusing a minors, as young as 8, in a foreign country. They were sent back home, however, the church decided not to take any action regarding the incident.
“It seems to show that the church’s main concern is its image and the aftereffects of this abuse, as opposed to the focus being on the victims,” said McKnight.
The founder added that the church should have reported the cases to the police.
He also suggested that the main focus of the church authorities should have been to look after the abuse victims and they should let authorities decide if the accused were guilty or not.
The leak comes at a time when several churches across the globe have come under fire for protecting the priests who subjected worshippers to sexual abuse.
It’s about time churches stop being complicit in the wrongdoings of their religious leaders who possibly have destroyed many lives and got away with it due to the protection of higher authorities.
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