November 17, 2013 Comments Off on Mormon church denies lawsuit’s claims of sex abuse coverup
Mormon church denies lawsuit’s claims of sex abuse coverup
Fri Nov 1, 2013 by Matthew Umstead
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a statement released Wednesday adamantly denied claims made in a lawsuit that it covered up sexual abuse of 12 children in Berkeley County by a member who has since been excommunicated and imprisoned.
The lawsuit filed Sept. 16 names Mormon church officials and excommunicated member Christopher Michael Jensen and his parents as defendants. It was filed in Berkeley County Circuit Court on behalf of five families and 12 children among them.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind,” the church said in its statement, which was released by Martinsburg attorney William J. Powell, who is representing the church in this case….
The lawsuit alleges the church was repeatedly put on notice and/or had knowledge of Jensen’s “predatory acts,” but actively covered up the abuse and assisted him “in committing further unspeakable acts, by enabling (Jensen) to babysit for and live with other church families with young children.”….
“The church, in short, thwarted the protections that would have been triggered by reporting the abuses and provided (Jensen) the opportunity to abuse more and more children, which he did. This pattern continued for over five years, until (Jensen) was finally indicted in 2012,” the lawsuit said.