Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Bishop Gets Fine, No Jail
(For The Record: Bishop to get Fine)
Salt Lake Tribune 19May00 N1
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Charges against LDS Bishop David Maxwell, who was
arrested recently for failing to report an abuse case, have been reduced to
an infraction, carrying no jail time and a maximum fine of $750, Sandy
Police Sgt. Kevin Thacker told the Salt Lake Tribune Thursday. Maxwell had
faced a possible $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail, under the original
charges, a class B misdemeanor count of failure to report.
Under Utah law, clergy are only exempt from reporting suspected abuse if the
only source of their knowledge is the perpetrator's confession. If the
information comes from the victim or elsewhere, they are required by law to
report it to the authorities.
The charges arose in the case of a 15-year-old girl in Maxwell's LDS Ward
who allegedly reported to him three times that a 16-year-old boy in the Ward
had sexually assaulted her. According to Sandy prosecutors, Maxwell only
went to the police when an LDS seminary teacher in whom the girl confided,
threatened to report the abuse himself.
According to Thacker, "The case was reduced to adjudicate the case quicker."
Maxwell was scheduled to face the charge at a bench trial scheduled this
week before Sandy Justice Court Judge Donald Sawaya, but the trial was
continued without date because a key witness has medical problems.