December 28, 2020
By Terry Tang
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was hit with several lawsuits Monday for allegedly covering up decades of sexual abuse among Boy Scout troops in Arizona, marking the latest litigation before the state’s end-of-year deadline for adult victims to sue.
The church “must be held accountable in order to bring healing and closure to Mormon victims of childhood sexual abuse,” Hurley McKenna & Mertz, a law firm that focuses on church sex abuse, said in a statement.
In the seven lawsuits each representing seven different male victims, attorneys say church officials never notified authorities about abuse allegations. Public records show members of church-sponsored Boy Scout troops who were abused would tell church bishops about what they had experienced. The lawsuits allege bishops would then tell the victims to keep quiet so the church could conduct its own investigation. In the meantime, troop leaders and volunteers accused of sex abuse would be allowed to continue in their roles or be assigned to another troop, the suits said.
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