ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 12 Mar 2001   For week ended February 16, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 13Feb01

By Kent Larsen

LDS Church Fighting Judge's Order to Provide Child Abuse Records

PORTLAND, OREGON -- A judge in Multnomah county, Oregon has ordered the LDS Church to provide her with records of all child sexual abuse complaints and disciplinary actions in the Portland area over the past 25 years, and the Church is fighting the order. Judge Ellen F. Rosenblum issued the order January 24th in the case of Jeremiah Scott, now 21, who says that he was abused at age 11 by a Church member that the Church knew was an abuser. The LDS Church plans to file an appeal of the order with the Oregon Supreme Court.

The Scott case is one of several public cases in which the LDS Church is bein sued by victims and their families for failing to let them know that a Church member was an abuser. In the Scott case, the abuser, Franklin Richards Curtis, who was 87 at the time of the abuse, had been excommunicated by the Church in Pennsylvania for previous abuse. Court records indicate that he was rebaptized in 1984, but as a member of the Rocky Butte Ward in Portland he then abused five additional children. Although the Bishop of that ward confronted him, and Curtis confessed, the Bishop never reported the abuse to the police, and only reported the abuse to Salt Lake City when parents in his ward complained.

Curtis then moved to the Brentwood ward, where he told then-Bishop Gregory Lee Foster that he had repented of previous abuse. Bishop Foster kept that abuse quiet, and later called Curtis to teach Sunday School. He eventually met Scott's mother, and came to live with Scott's family, and Scott says that Bishop Foster still remained silent about the abuse. As a result Scott was abused on a daily basis for about six months, the lawsuit alleges.

Like in other cases, this case raises issues of priest-penitent confidentiality, and the LDS Church's appeal of the decision claims that the order violates the US Constitution's First Amendment and confidentiality laws about the confessional. Under the priest-penitent privilege doctrine, a member of the clergy, such as a Bishop, can't divulge to others what a Church member tells him. And the LDS Church is arguing that Judge Rosenblum's order does just that -- for everyone that has confessed abusing children in Portland over the past 25 years.

But child advocates argue that the safety of the child should outweigh these concerns. Similar issues have been raised in similar cases involving the LDS Church in West Virginia, Texas, Chicago, Washington and Utah.


Judge orders Mormons to provide sex-abuse records
Portland OR Oregonian 9Feb01 N1
By Michael Wilson of The Oregonian staff
The ruling is the result of a lawsuit filed by a man who says he was molested by a high priest

LDS Church must release abuse records
Deseret News 10Feb01 N1
Associated Press

Judge Orders LDS Church to Release Files of Sex-Abuse Complaints
Salt Lake Tribune 10Feb01 N1
Associated Press


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information