An Oregon man is currently serving 15 years for sexually abusing a little girl after he confessed to a clergy member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He confessed to the.crime in 2016 to “repent for his sins”(under the eyes of God and to seek spiritual healing) “to bring peace within his life and family.” He was arrested and charged in 2017 and convicted in 2018 of four counts of second-degree sexual abuse.
The abuser’s wife is now suing the Church for $9.5 Million and claims that the family went through emotional distress and lost income and $40,000 for the money spent on a criminal defense lawyer to represent the husband on the child molestation charges. She is also naming her 4 children as plaintiffs saying they all have been deprived of her husband’s “companionship, society, love, affection” and financial support.
It’s important to note that the couples fifth child was not listed as plaintiff because she was molested by her father over four years when she was a pre-teen and teenager, according to criminal case records.
The law in Oregon requires a list of “private or public” officials to report suspected child abuse to the Oregon Department of Human Services or local police. Included in this list are doctors, firefighters, teachers, social workers and clergy.
There are some exceptions to this law including that clergy members aren’t required to report child abuse if they learn of it through a “privileged” communication, which complicates things.
Herman Law empowers victims by giving them a voice, along with the tools and assistance they need for themselves and their families to make decisions on how to proceed. Families and victims are often overwhelmed in the wake of sexual abuse. Dealing with the immediate issues facing victims such as police involvement, state investigations, school meetings, phone calls from attorneys and investigators, media coverage, lawsuits, and the emotional devastation is often daunting, confusing, and stressful for victims and families. Herman Law lays out the step-by-step roadmap for victims to take control and get their life back on track.
For the first 30 days, Herman Law proactively focuses on developing the case by discussing a strategy with the client, implementing that strategy, and diligently preserving and collecting evidence with its in house Special Investigative Unit. These initial 30 days make a significant difference and are integral in successfully litigating a lawsuit.