LDS Case Worker Goes to Navajo Nation to Persuade Girl Back into Utah Foster Home Where She Was Being Sexual Abused

Keeler & Keeler


Contact Info:

Craig Vernon Cell (208) 691-2768
James Vernon & Weeks P.A.
1626 Lincoln Way
Coeur D’Alene, ID 83814

Bill Keeler Cell (505) 979-0688
Keeler & Keeler
108 E. Aztec
Gallup, NM 87301

(January 26, 2017 – Gallup, New Mexico). IR, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, filed suit against the Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the “Mormon” or “LDS” Church, and against LDS Family Services in the Navajo Nation District Court because she was sexually abused as a young girl during the Church’s “Indian (Lamanite) Placement Program.”

Since March of last year this is fifth participant from this program who has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse. (Click Here for File-stamped Copy of Complaint For Personal Injury filed in Navajo Nation District Court, Window Rock District, Case No. WR-CV-50-17.)

The lawsuit discusses how IR was sexually abused repeatedly by her Indian Placement Program foster father. IR told her case worker that she wanted to be placed into another home. Nothing was done.

One of IR’s attorney’s, Craig Vernon explains that IR was at her wits end so she arranged for her sister to pick her up in Utah and take her back to the Navajo Nation. “This was the only way IR knew how to escape the ongoing sexual abuse,” Vernon explains. “We salute IR for having the courage to get out of that abusive situation and return to the Navajo Nation,” comments Billy Keeler, who also represents IR.

“Inexplicably, after IR returned with her family to the Navajo Nation, her LDS case worker traveled there to try and persuade her to return to the very home where she was being sexually abused,” comments Vernon. “Thankfully, this LDS case worker failed in his attempt to persuade IR to return to that dangerous home” Keeler adds.

Keeler states that the LDS Defendants have continued to press their lack of jurisdiction claim alleging that there aren’t enough contacts between the LDS Church and the Navajo Nation.
What this case shows is “an affirmative act by the LDS Defendants to enter the reservation to try and get IR back into this program,” adds Keeler.


NOTE: Telephone interviews of IR or any of her attorneys can be arranged by calling/emailing Billy Keeler at (505) 979- 0688,
and/or Craig Vernon at (208) 691-2768,

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.