Oregon’s Statesman Journal reports:
A Turner woman is suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for $9.54 million after her husband’s confession to church leaders led to his arrest, conviction and imprisonment on child sexual abuse charges. The lawsuit, which accuses local church leaders of violating confidentiality and the “priest-penitent privilege,” contrasts sharply with other cases accusing the church claiming the exact opposite — failing to report abuse to authorities and treating sex abuse like a sin instead of a crime.
The lawsuit, filed in Marion County Circuit Court, involves a Turner man convicted of abuse after he confessed to Stayton clergy that he had repeated sexual contact with a minor. Church officials did not respond Tuesday to requests for comment on whether the actions of local leaders were sanctioned by the church. The man’s confession was meant to be confidential, said the family’s attorney Bill Brandt. He said local clergy’s actions “totally violated church policy.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reports:
Johnson confessed to local leaders and members of the church disciplinary council 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 age 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.