The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), commonly known as the Mormon Church, is based out of Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States. According to church statistics, Latter-day Saints membership worldwide is greater than 17-million as of December 31, 2022. The majority of members reside outside of North America, however. As of 2019, there were approximately 7-million members in the United States and Canada.
Similar to other religious organizations, such as the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church faces accusations of sexual abuse within the institution. While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints denounces any kind of sexual abuse, a growing number of individuals and their family members are speaking out regarding a hesitation on the behalf of church leaders to address allegations of abuse.
The culture of secrecy within the organization means oftentimes law enforcement is not involved when claims of sex abuse within the church arise. Unfortunately, this practice keeps cases of Mormon Church sexual abuse from reaching the public, and in turn keeps victims from coming forward with their own claims of abuse.
Mormon Church Sex Abuse Resources
- Who Can File a Mormon Church Sex Abuse Claim?
- Statute of Limitations for Filing a Sex Abuse Lawsuit
- How an Attorney Can Help Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Mormon Church
- Do I Qualify for a Mormon Church Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
- How to Choose a Lawyer for an LDS Church Sex Abuse Lawsuit
- Identity Confidentiality in a Sex Abuse Lawsuit?
- Will I Still Be a Member of Church If I File a Sex Abuse Claim?
- Compensation Available for Victims of Sexual Abuse
- Potential Value of Your LDS Church Sex Abuse Case
- Evidence Needed to File a Claim
- Child Survivors of Mormon Sexual Abuse
- Reports of Mormon Church Sex Abuse in the News
Cases of Mormon Church Sex Abuse are on the Rise
Allegations of Mormon Church officials failing to protect children from sex abuse are becoming far too common in recent years. A trend is emerging from the growing number of cases resulting in undisclosed out-of-course settlements to victims of both church leaders and church members. In cases where claims of sexual abuse reach civil trials, Church officials deny misconduct in order to protect the LDS Church rather than support the sexual abuse victims.
At Estey & Bomberger, we strive to hold the institutions that harbor sexual predators accountable for the crimes perpetrated by individuals within their ranks. If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse while a member of the Mormon Church, we can stand up for your rights. Our compassionate team has a perfect track record advocating for sexual abuse victims and will fight tirelessly for you.
Who Can File a Mormon Church Sex Abuse Claim?
An individual who has survived sexual abuse by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can file a sex abuse claim. Such cases can be difficult to prove, as often the abuse happened years or decades ago, but a civil lawsuit can be filed on the behalf of a victim of Mormon Church sex abuse. Should the victim win their lawsuit against their abuser, financial compensation could be recovered for any injuries or damages suffered by the person.
Some sexual abuse cases go to court, where a judge or jury will decide the compensation amount to be rewarded to the victim at the conclusion of the trial. Other cases may result in the parties involved agreeing on an out-of-court settlement. These types of settlements do not go to trial.
Sex abuse claims that go back a significant amount of time, such as many years or even decade, may run into issues with time limits called, “statute of limitations”. These time limits set the deadline for filing specific civil lawsuits. A sex abuse lawyer can help you determine if you can still file a claim of sex abuse against the Mormon Church.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against the Mormon Church?
A recent push to allow survivors of sex abuse to achieve justice and fair compensation has arisen across the United States. These efforts have extended, and in some states, suspended time limits for filing sex abuse lawsuits. Legally, these time limits are known as statute of limitations. Our team is here to help you understand your options when it comes to the time limits to file a sex abuse lawsuit against the Mormon Church in your state.
Depending on the state in which the sexual abuse occurred and the age of the victim, you may be able to pursue justice even if your case is from decades ago. In child sex abuse cases, a growing number of states have eliminated the statute of limitations. That said, time is of the essence when it comes to holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.
What Can an Attorney Do for Victims of Sexual Abuse in the Mormon Church?
The first thing a sex abuse lawyer can do to help Mormon Church sexual abuse survivors is offer support. Considering a case against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be unnerving, especially if the perpetrator is a church leader. The team at Estey & Bomberger understands what a major undertaking filing a case against the Mormon Church can be, especially for those who remain members. The fear of fallout from family, the LDS community, and your reputation, can make the whole process seem like an impossible task. But you can achieve justice, and we are here to support you.
Our goal is to build a strong attorney-client relationship so that we can relieve the burden of the trauma you live with every day of your life. By achieving justice and fair compensation for the losses you have suffered, you can begin the path towards a better tomorrow. Your sex abuse lawyer will ensure you receive the best possible care and will handle every aspect of your case.
In order to build the best case possible, our team will approach every angle of your claim, including:
- Investigate the details of the abuse such as where and how the abuse occurred
- Identify all liable parties, including anyone associated with an effort to cover up the abuse
- Assess the extent of damages to adequately calculate the value of your case
- Gather evidence to build the strongest possible case
- Negotiate the value of a settlement where applicable
- File a civil lawsuit against all liable parties
Do I Qualify for a Mormon Church Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
We offer 100% confidential and completely free consultations. This allows you to ask any questions you may have regarding your sexual abuse case. During your free and confidential case evaluation, we will review your case and make sure you understand your options. This includes any potential statute of limitations that may apply due to the state in which the abuse occurred.
Our sexual abuse attorneys have earned a national reputation built on success and we never charge a single penny unless we win your case. You do not have to worry about any out-of-pocket expenses regarding your case should you choose to pursue a sex abuse lawsuit against the Mormon Church.
To learn more about how we can help you pursue the justice you deserve, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today.
How to Choose a Lawyer for an LDS Church Sex Abuse Lawsuit
Choosing a sex abuse lawyer to handle your claim can make a significant impact on the outcome of a civil lawsuit. Just as important as achieving fair and just compensation, a law firm that specializes in assisting sexual abuse survivors can have a lasting effect on overall wellbeing of a sex abuse victim as they begin the long journey towards healing from their trauma.
At Estey & Bomberger, we offer world-class legal counsel as well as a team that includes certified sexual assault victim advocates that support our clients every step of the way. We are a boutique law firm that provides victims of sexual abuse with the resources they need to improve their lives. Our attorneys will protect your rights by helping you stand up to your abuser with a sex abuse lawsuit.
By holding church leaders accountable for the actions of predatory members within their organization, we hope to affect change to better protect those within the Mormon Church from sexual abuse in the future. Our sex abuse attorneys have a history that goes back over 20 years of achieving favorable results for sex abuse victims. The team at Estey & Bomberger knows that victims of sexual assault live with their experiences every day, but we believe you and have your back.
A sex abuse lawyer can stand up for your rights and help you achieve justice and fair compensation. If you or a family member are a victim of Mormon Church sex abuse, the law firm of Estey & Bomberger can pursue justice and compensation with a sex abuse lawsuit against your abuser.
Can I Keep My Identity Confidential in a Mormon Church Sex Abuse Lawsuit?
Maintaining the confidentiality of our clients is paramount, as we understand the sensitive nature of sex abuse cases. Some victims may choose to speak out against the injustices they have suffered at that hands of the Mormon Church in order to help others come forward. While we certainly support and applaud these brave individuals, we also know that the majority of sexual abuse survivors value their anonymity. Our team knows that the Mormon Church community is tight knit, and maintaining confidentiality can help protect not only the client, but their family members from retaliation from other LDS church members.
For those who wish to keep their identities confidential, we will do everything within our power to protect your privacy. Generally, in civil lawsuits, parties must be named. Exceptions can be made, however. Confidentiality can be retained if there is a risk to a person’s safety. A plaintiff may remain anonymous in order to protect the individual from ridicule or harassment. The same is true if the plaintiff’s mental health may be compromised.
For those who qualify, legal documents can be filed using pseudonyms such as Jane or John Doe so that your identity can remain concealed in public records. One look at our case results page will showcase the extent to which we protect our clients’ identities. Another way to keep your identity confidential is to settle your case out-of-court.
Whatever path you choose to take regarding your Mormon Church sex abuse claim, you can trust the team at Estey & Bomberger to help you remain anonymous throughout the legal process.
Will I Be Kicked Out if I File a Mormon Church Sex Abuse Claim?
Members of the Mormon Church are generally heavily involved with their congregation, which can feel like a giant family. LDS Church members are dedicated to their faith and spend considerable resources to support their community. Understandably then, reporting sexual abuse within the Mormon Church can cause significant anxiety for the victim. The potential of being cast out of the church would mean losing everything to many congregation members.
For those individuals who are facing such worries, keep in mind that church leaders encourage victims of abuse to come forward. This allows church leaders to help the abused and to protect other church members who may be vulnerable from suffering in the future.
Do not let fear of expulsion from the Church keep you from reporting a case of sexual abuse. By holding your abuser accountable, you can help protect others from falling victim to sexual predators that exploit the Church. Get the justice you deserve and protect future victims by contacting a sex abuse lawyer today.
What Kind of Compensation can Victims of Mormon Church Sexual Abuse Expect?
Religious organizations throughout the United States have gained notoriety for a history of covering up sexual abuse allegations. By holding these powerful church organizations and the perpetrators they protect accountable for the damage they have caused countless congregation members, our sexual abuse attorneys are able to help sex abuse survivors achieve justice and fair compensation. Because every case is unique, it is impossible to give a definitive dollar value on a Mormon Church sex abuse claim.
With that in mind, settlement amounts depend on the impact abuse has had on someone’s life. Surviving sexual abuse leaves emotional and mental trauma that can lead to lifelong conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This is especially true if the victim was a child when they suffered sexual trauma. By filing a lawsuit against the abuser, you can hold them accountable, regardless of when the abuse occurred.
Damages that can lead to financial compensation in a Mormon Church sex abuse case include:
Any past or potential future out-of-pocket bills related to treating injuries related to sexual abuse such as therapy, medication, hospitalization, or abortion.
Diminished Quality of Life
The lasting effects of surviving a sexual assault can lead to a reduction in a person’s quality of life including the inability to develop meaningful relationships, a loss of sexual function, and reduced social connections.
Pain and Suffering
Emotional and physical injuries related to surviving sexual abuse include emotional distress, trauma, anxiety, depression, and physical pain.
The psychological and physical effects of sexual abuse can lead to lost wages or income. In such cases, these damages can be pursued as part of your claim.
Should the court find the defendant’s actions were egregious, additional fines can be placed on top of compensatory damages. Punitive damages are a way for the justice system to punish the perpetrators and accomplices of Mormon Church sex abuse in an effort to deter similar behavior in the future.
Keep in mind, these are a general outline of potential damages. There are additional factors that may help determine how much compensation you may receive such as victims of child sex abuse in the Mormon Church. The jurisdiction under which the civil lawsuit falls is another significant contributing factor in the value of your case. Your Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer will work with you to determine the potential value of your case based on these damages.
Learn the Potential Value of Your LDS Church Sex Abuse Case Today
If you or a loved one are considering filing a Mormon Church sex abuse lawsuit, the compassionate team at Estey & Bomberger is here to support you through the process. Our law firm has a history of success when it comes to holding institutions responsible for harboring sexual predators. Your sex abuse lawyer will advocate for your rights and stand up to your abuser so that you can achieve justice. By building a strong attorney-client relationship, we provide compassionate care that can enable you to heal from this trauma.
We offer clients more than just first-class legal counsel; our team includes certified sexual assault victim advocates. The primary goal of your sex abuse lawyer is to secure fair and just compensation for the trauma you have suffered. Every member of our law firm believes in providing the resources necessary to allow sex abuse survivors to begin their healing. While we can’t change what happened, we will do everything we can to help you work towards a brighter future.
To learn more about how we can help you or your loved one, contact us today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. During your consultation, a member of our caring team will listen to your claim and advise you on the steps for filing a sexual abuse lawsuit. This allows you to make an educated decision when moving forward with your claim.
What Evidence Do You Need to File a Sex Abuse Claim Against the Mormon Church?
A history of keeping claims of sex abuse within the LDS Church means that more often than not, law enforcement is never notified of these types of crimes. Therefore, securing evidence to file a sex abuse claim against the Mormon Church can be difficult. This is especially true in child sex abuse cases that happened years or even decades in the past. Fortunately, the volume of evidence required in a civil suit where a plaintiff is suing to recover compensation is not as high as in a criminal case.
For those who may have a difficult time finding adequate evidence for a case of abuse where considerable time has passed, your sex abuse lawyer may be able to file your claim based on your memory and testimony. In such cases, you can expect your abuser to fight your version of events. They will likely do everything in their power to discredit your story.
It is up to the court to examine the reliability and credibly of both the survivor and the abuser in order to reach a decision. This is the advantage of having a Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer as your advocate. Our team includes individuals who are experts in the field and who will investigate your case to find any evidence to support your claims.
When you work with the team at Estey & Bomberger, we have your back. Your sex abuse lawyer will build a case against your abuser that is trial ready. If you or a loved one are a victim of Mormon Church sexual abuse, contact us today to schedule a confidential and free case evaluation.
Unsure if You are a Child Survivor of Mormon Church Sexual Abuse?
In child abuse cases, it is common for survivors to have no memory of the event. Children who experience trauma often suppress what happened, with no recollection of the episode responsible for their distress.
There are symptoms that may present themselves later in life that indicate the possibility of suffering sexual abuse as a child:
- Emotional issues, such as unexpected mood swings
- Hyper-vigilance, such as being easily startled by sudden movements or noise
- General feelings of guilt and shame unattached to any specific event
- Memory loss for a period around suspected childhood sexual abuse
Victims of childhood sexual assault may suffer from mental health issues and social injuries such as:
- Intimacy issues including lack of libido
- Trouble with interpersonal contact
- General mistrust of others
Part of what makes our compassionate law firm stand out is our team provides clients with a range of resources to help cope with the life-changing consequences of surviving sexual abuse. Beyond fighting for justice and compensation on your behalf, our ultimate goal is to help you heal so that you can get back to living a full and complete life.
If you suspect that you or a loved one is a victim of Mormon Church child sexual abuse, contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation. Our law firm has a reputation built on success when advocating for sexual abuse survivors. A sex abuse lawyer from Estey & Bomberger can help you achieve justice and fair compensation.
Reports of Mormon Church Sex Abuse in the News
In the last couple of years, the Associate Press has published articles detailing a culture of covering up instances of sex abuse within the Mormon Church. An article from December, 2023, writes of recordings of a Utah lawyer who was the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’’Risk Management Division, located in Salt Lake City. In the recordings, the church’s lawyer expresses concern for allegations of sexual abuse by a church leader, a former bishop in the LDS church who was arrested on charges of sexually abusing his daughter. A local Idaho bishop had heard a spiritual confession from the abuser shortly before his arrest.
While the LDS church swiftly excommunicated the disgraced bishop following the confession, they went on to have the church lawyer employ a strategy that has assisted the Mormon Church keep child sexual abuse cases secret. The church lawyer claimed that clergy-penitent privilege kept the Idaho bishop from testifying despite the fact that the law in Idaho actually required clergy to report child sex abuse.
Another article from August, 2022, reported on a bishop with the Mormon Church in Arizona who was informed by a church member that he was sexually abusing his 5 year old daughter. When the bishop reached out to the Mormon Church’s “help line” to report what was happening, he was advised by church officials to keep the abuse secret. Like in the article from 2023, the bishop was told that clergy-penitent privilege required that he keep the sex abuse confidential. Arizona has no law protecting the clergy-penitent privilege in child abuse cases.
Church organizations similar to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a history of covering up instances of sexual abuse. The Catholic Church is a good example of this institutionalized secrecy. Unfortunately, like with the Catholic Church, the true scope and depth of sexual abuse within the Mormon Church is difficult to gauge. Publicly, church leaders give victims empathetic support when it comes to reporting abuse. Paradoxically, the actions reported in these articles seem to show that church lawyers are focused on keeping such claims quiet.
A common theme emerges from these articles: regardless of what church leaders say to their congregations regarding reporting abuse, church lawyers have employed risk management strategies for years in order to cover up instances of sex abuse. To avoid cases of sexual abuse within the Mormon Church from reaching the public, church lawyers did not report claims to law enforcement. Instead, the lawyers working on behalf of the Mormon Church offered settlements to victims of sexual abuse tied to confidentiality agreements.
Choose a Law Firm with a Reputation for Success
As more stories come out, it is clear that the Mormon Church has sheltered sexual predators for far too long. Survivors of sexual abuse may be able to protect future victims from suffering a similar experience by holding the institution accountable in court. At Estey & Bomberger, we aim to help individuals and their families heal from the trauma experienced from sexual abuse within the Mormon Church.
If you or a loved one have a sexual abuse case against the Mormon Church, you can hold the perpetrator accountable with a sex abuse lawsuit. To learn how a Mormon Church sex abuse lawyer from our compassionate team can help you achieve justice and compensation, contact us today to schedule a completely free and confidential case evaluation.