Religious leaders and church face sex crime case

People in West Virginia who hear reports about the alleged sexual abuse of children may naturally feel anger toward the person or persons said to have perpetrated such acts. However, just as with any other form of criminal charge, it is important to remember that people are always innocent until proven guilty. Many allegations may be made that are in fact not accurate or true. It is up the criminal justice system to identify a defendant's guilt or innocence.

Today several leaders within the Mormon Church in West Virginia and the church itself are facing serious allegations that they essentially aided in the sexual abuse and molestation of multiple children over the course of at least five years. Parents representing six different families have come together to accuse the church and select leaders of protecting one man who was eventually found guilty of child sexual abuse and sentenced to 35 years in prison. 

Reports suggest that the church and the church leaders will need to show that, unlike with the case that plagued the Roman Catholic Church, they did not in fact know that the man was abusing children nor did they in any way protect him from prosecution. The church might also work hard to show that it has a strong system for reporting such alleged abuse.

When accused of serious acts involving the sexual abuse of children, people or entities in West Virginia might want to consult with an attorney to learn how they can defend themselves properly.

Source: The Washington Post, "Sexual abuse case against Mormom Church begins in West Virginia," Julie Zauzmer, January 18, 2018

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