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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended October 06, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 04Oct00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Woman's Lawsuit vs. LDS Church Over Abuse Heard by Utah Supreme Court

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The Utah Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in the case of a woman suing the LDS Church over its handling of her abuse by another LDS Church member. Lynette Earl Franco says she was abused at age 7 by a member of her LDS congregation who was 11 at the time. After initially filing a claim of clergy malpractice, Franco now claims that her Bishop and Stake President committed fraud, were negligent and inflicted distress on her.

Franco says that the bishop, David Casaday, and the Stake President, David Christensen, told her to forgive the young man that committed the abuse. "Forget the incident ever happened," she was told. At the time she recovered a repressed memory of the abuse and first reported it to her bishop, Franco was 14 and the young man was 18 and preparing to serve an LDS mission.

The case has been closely watched in Utah, both for what it might mean for the boundaries between Church and State, and for the reputation of Utah's Supreme Court, which now has five Mormon justices for the first time in 70 years. Before Governor Mike Leavitt made two appointments this past summer, Utah has traditionally had at least one non-Mormon among the five justices on the court.


Woman contends Mormon bishop, church, dismissed abuse claims
St Louis MO Post-Dispatch (AP) 2Oct00 N1
By Hannah Wolfson: Associated Press


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