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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 21, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 20May00

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.


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