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