Friday, January 10, 2020

Wife of Sex Offender Sues Church For Reporting Confessed Abuse

The Salem (OR) Statesman Journal reports on a suit filed recently in an Oregon state trial court by the wife of convicted sex offender Timothy Johnson. She claims that leaders of the Turner, Oregon Latter Day Saints congregation breached their duty to her husband in reporting his confessed sex abuse to authorities. According to the report, Johnson followed church doctrine by confessing and repenting his sins in front of clergy and the church court:
The clergy portrayed that such a confession and repentance was dictated by church doctrine, and church doctrine required strict confidence of such confessions, according to the lawsuit.....
But what leaders failed to advise Johnson of is that if he confessed to the abuse, they would report his actions to local law enforcement, according to the lawsuit. 
The lawsuit filed in Oregon singled out a man who served as a counselor to Johnson's bishop, claiming the church failed to properly supervise him and train him of his obligations as a member of the clergy.
The suit seeks damages of $9.5 million on behalf of Johnson's wife and four children.