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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 09, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 10Jul00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Bishop Charged with Failing to Report Abuse
Salt Lake Tribune 8Jul00 D2
By Kevin Cantera: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Another LDS Bishop has been charged with failing to report an incident of child sexual abuse. On Friday, Salt Lake City prosecutors charged LDS Bishop Bruce R. Christensen, 60, of the Salt Lake City 21st Ward with a class B misdemeanor after learning that Christensen had been told of a case of child abuse by the victim's mother and failed to report it. The mother told Christensen in a July 1999 interview that her estranged husband had sexually abused their 13-month-old daughter.

"We were unaware Bishop Christensen had been charged in this case . . . Because it is now before the courts, we cannot comment on details," said LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills in a statement released to the press. "Local church leaders are trained to comply with all reporting requirements." Under Utah law, clergy are exempt from reporting abuse only if their sole source of information about the abuse is the perpetrator. If convicted, Christensen faces up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The filing of charges against Christensen is the second reported arrest this year of an LDS Bishop and third reported investigation of an LDS local leader's failure to report child abuse. In May, LDS Bishop David W. Maxwell of Sandy was charged with failure to report in a case involving a 15-year-old girl who was reportedly abused by another minor in his ward. And in March, prosecutors in Logan, Utah decided they couldn't prosecute three LDS Bishops for failure to report because the statue of Limitations had expired.

See also:

LDS Bishop Arrested For Failure To Report Abuse

LDS Bishop Gets Fine, No Jail

3 LDS Bishops Can't Be Charged For Failing To Report Sex Abuse


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