PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by
the Law Firm of David Slader:
The Mormon Church covered up its knowledge of a High Priest's sexual
molestation of young boys for more than a decade according to a Portland,
Oregon lawsuit that the church paid $3,000,000.00 to settle. The charges were
brought by one of the priest's victims, Jeremiah Scott.
Today, Scott's mother made a statement describing the Mormon Church as
a, "sanctuary for pedophiles. The church is so concerned about its public
image," Sandra Scott charged, "that it hide the truth from me that it had
recycled a known pedophile into a position of authority in the church where he
had unlimited access to young children." Scott's legal team hailed the
settlement as, "the first big step for one victim in the long struggle to
expose the Mormon Church's epidemic pattern of providing a safe and secret
haven for child molesters."
Scott is one of 21 victims of High Priest Franklin Curtis who abused boys
in Portland, Oregon, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and
Sheridan, Wyoming. Curtis, who was convicted of molesting Scott, has since
The church claimed throughout the litigation that it had a constitutional
right to "wipe the slate clean" of any member who had "repented" for his abuse
of children and had been forgiven by the church. "It is a policy that puts
out the welcome mat for pedophiles like Franklin Curtis," Mrs. Scott
In a statement attacking the pretrial rulings of Multnomah County Circuit
Judge Ellen Rosenblum, the church stated that it paid Scott $3,000,000.00 only
because it would have cost "significantly more in legal fees and other costs"
to continue with the litigation. "Nothing could be further from the truth,"
responded one of Scott's attorneys, Timothy Kosnoff of Bellevue, Washington.
"The Mormon Church settled this case because they knew any jury would be
outraged by the proof that the church had known for years that Franklin Curtis
was a serial pedophile. The church not only venerated Curtis as a High
Priest, but it made him a scout leader and Sunday School teacher -- and then
hid the fact that he was a molester from the whole congregation."
The lawsuit alleged that when Mrs. Scott asked her Bishop if it was okay
for Curtis to live in her home, he gave her no warning. "It would only have
taken one word, but he said nothing." Kosnoff added, "The church had seen
Curtis ruin the lives of child after child, but protecting their image is more
important than protecting their children."
Sandra Scott's statement concluded that, "The Mormon Church can forgive
whomever it chooses, but it is a sin and a crime to allow known child
molesters to have unsupervised access to children." Scott's lawyers pointed
out that the church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, had been warned at least ten times that Curtis was using his position
as a High Priest, boy scout leader and Sunday school teacher to seduce and
molest young boys. Twice, the Mormon Church held a formal court to discipline
Curtis for molesting young boys, the lawyers disclosed, but, "within a year
they welcomed him back as a priest and agreed to cover up his crimes." Mrs.
Scott blamed the cover up for Scott's abuse. "Curtis would never have been
allowed near my son if the church had told me the truth."
Jeff Anderson of St. Paul, Minnesota, who is nationally recognized for his
work representing victims of abuse by clergy and who joined Scott's legal team
this year to prepare for the anticipated trial, described the Mormon Church's
conduct as among the worst of any religious organization in the county: "Most
churches have finally caught on that they have a duty to protect their
children from pedophiles in clerical garb, but this church still destroys
records and still denies that it has any responsibility to tell its members
Scott's Portland attorney, David Slader, who also has represented over
forty victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic Priest Maurice Grammond,
Slader described the Mormon Church as, "the most meticulous keeper of records
in the history of religion. It knows where its members were born, when they
were baptized and married, when and where they have moved, how much they
contribute to the church each year. Yet they hide the fact that they are
sheltering a High Priest who will molest any young boy he can gain access to.
It was within their power to save this child from the horrors of months of
sexual abuse. We now know of twenty other victims of the church's cover-up.
Many more may still be living in the silence that shame imposes. It has to
Persons abused by priests of the Mormon Church or clergy of any
denomination can call:
National Hot Line for Legal Rights and Options
TOLL FREE: 888-567-5557
Or, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) at 314-645-5915.
Abuse survivors in Oregon can call Oregon Abuse Survivors & Advocates
(OASA). OASA is a statewide organization that provides advocacy and lawyer
referrals for abuse survivors. OASA offers two free handbooks ("You Are Not
Alone" and "Seeking Justice") to abuse survivors. OASA can be reached at
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SOURCE David Slader, Esq.