Judge Forces Mormon Church Abuse Victims To Pay Half Their Abuser’s Legal Fees

The Mormon Church, much like the Catholic Church, has been embroiled in sex scandals and the church’s coverup. In West Virginia, a judge presiding over one case ordered that the families of victims pay half the legal costs of the convicted abuser.

21-year-old Christopher Michael Jensen was found guilty in 2013 of one count of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of child abuse. The victims were three and four years old in 2007, when the abuse occurred.

Jensen, who is currently serving up to 75 years in prison, is the son of two local Mormon leaders. Since the trial, 12 children and their families have come forward and filed a lawsuit against Jensen’s parents.

In the suit, plaintiffs claimed that the church kept recommending Jensen as a babysitter, even after the abuse allegations surfaced. The church is also accused of trying to silence the parents and victims.

That same year, families of 12 children who reported being abused by Jensen filed a civil suit against the Mormon church. It accuses Mormon officials of “sending emissaries from Salt Lake City to West Virginia to instruct witnesses not to talk with attorneys representing the children suing the church”. The suit also alleges these same church officials of trying “to intimidate the families (by) directing fellow church members to try to convince them to abandon their claims ‘lest they run afoul of church teachings regarding forgiveness,’” according to a newspaper story and the suit.

Source: Religion News

The plaintiffs agreed to pay for an attorney to serve a subpoena to Jensen in prison, but Jensen and the church wanted to expand that attorney’s role and put him on the defense team as a guardian ad litem in the civil case – and that half the cost ($46,000) should be covered by the plaintiffs. The judge agreed.

The plaintiffs have filed a writ seeking relief from the court’s order. The state Supreme Court will hear the matter on April 22.

Featured image via Pixabay.