UPDATED AS OF AUGUST 2003

 

Australian Jehovah’s Witnesses protected over a thousand members accused of child abuse, report says

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/28/australian-jehovahs-witnesses-protected-over-a-thousand-members-accused-of-child-abuse-report-says/?utm_term=.3be07baa2290

 

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Jehovah's Witness sexual-abuse-coverup lawsuit settled.  When [Victim] Fessler was a teenager and a member of the Spring Grove church, she was sexually assaulted repeatedly for two years, starting in 2002 or 2003, by another member of the church, Terry J. Monheim, who was in her late 40s and early 50s during the abuse.

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/02/jehovahs_witness_sexual_abuse.html

 

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TEXAS  v. GAVIN LUIS GARCIA was a 2007-10 Texas prosecution of a "homosexual" Jehovah's Witness named Gavin L. Garcia, 21 years-old in 2007, of Fort Stockton, Texas. Gavin Luis Garcia was ultimately convicted on two counts of Sexual Assault Of a Child occurring in 2007. Gavin Garcia received a 10 year prison sentence, but becomes eligible for parole in January 2015.

 

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FLORIDA v. FRANCIS CHRISTOPHER WONG was a 2012-13 Florida criminal court case which involved a Fort Myers, Florida, Jehovah's Witnesss Elder named Francis C. Wong, who is of Chinese heritage. From 2001 to 2011, Francis Wong reportedly molested seven or more young males, ages 11 through age 17, who attended the same Cape Coral Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. In January 2012, Wong, age 41, was arrested on multiple charges of lewd and lascivious behavior. After spending only one day in jail, Wong was released on bond, but thereafter fled to Brooklyn, New York. Wong was eventually caught, and in November 2013, Francis Wong was convicted of multiple counts of lewd or lascivious molestation, and battery. Wong was sentenced to life plus 60 years. 

 

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HONDURAS v. JOSE MANUEL PAVON was a 2011-13 Honduras MURDER court case. In October 2010, a 24 year-old Jehovah's Witness Elder named Jose Manuel Pavon summoned Police to the Colonia Nueva Suyapa Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, located in the capitol city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where Jose Pavon claimed that he had just discovered the body of 16 year-old Cindy Marbella Aleman Cerrato -- a fellow Jehovah's Witness congregant whom Pavron had known since she was 9 years-old and since he was 17 years-old. Cindy Cerrato had been raped and strangled to death. Due to the typical lack of cooperation with the authorities from that Kingdom Hall's Body of Elders, who undoubtedly were following instructions from the WatchTower Society's Honduras Branch Office, eventually, both the JW Parents of the victim and residents of the local neighborhood began protesting the failure of the local JW leaders to help Police solve the Kingdom Hall murder.

 

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CALIFORNIA v. STEVEN MARTIN LINDHORST was a 2015 California criminal prosecution of a prominent Jehovah's Witness Elder and former Watchtower Bethelite named Steven M. Lindhorst, of Paso Robles, California. Steven Lindhorst was arrested in early January 2015 after his wife, Wendy Lindhorst, reported to both their local Body of Elders and Paso Robles police that her husband, Steven Lindhorst, was viewing child pornography on a computer at their home.  UPDATE: In September 2015, Lindhorst pleaded "no contest" to one count of lewd act with a child under the age of 14 and one count of possession of matter depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct., and was sentenced to six years in prison. In July 2016, the Court of Appeals of California affirmed Lindhorst's conviction.

 

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NEW JERSEY v. COLE DYKSTRA was a 2001-03 New Jersey murder court case. In August 2003, a 26 year-old Jehovah's Witness, named Cole Dykstra, son of a JW mother, named Nancy Dykstra, plea bargained "guilty" to reduced charges of "Aggravated Manslaughter", and was sentenced to 28 years in prison, for the August 2001 murder of 16 year-old Arthur Trussell. Dykstra won't be eligible for parole until May 2025. 

 

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INDIANA v. MICHAEL P. SHENEMAN was a 2006-08 Indiana criminal prosecution which involved Michael Sheneman, age 56, of South Bend, Indiana. In April 2008, Mike Sheneman plea bargained guilty to Class D felony sexual misconduct with a minor under the age of 16 after the 15 year-old girl whom Sheneman had allegedly paid for sex refused to testify against him. Sheneman was sentenced to one year in jail, with that time suspended, and three years of probation. Sheneman was also ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service and pay a $5,000 fine.

 

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MISSOURI v. MATTHEW JAMES TULLER was a 2003-04 Missouri state criminal court case. In June 2003, a Jehovah's Witness named Matthew J. Tuller, age 29, of Carthage, Missouri, was arrested for child molestation after his 13 year-old sister-in-law alleged to her mother and police that her brother-in-law had sexually assaulted her hundreds of times over the course of the previous four years whenever she visited at the home of Tuller and her older sister. The victim alleged that Matthew Tuller gained her temporary confidentiality by telling her that he was in love with her. Matthew James Tuller was convicted of first degree child molestation in June 2004, and was sentenced to ten years in prison. Tuller was released from prison in June 2011. Matthew James Tuller is the son of a well known Jehovah's Witness in Carthage, named Ronald Tuller, who operated Ron's Mug & Brush Barber Shop until his death in 2013

 

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INDIANA v. JEFFREY CHARLES BUZZARD was a 2013-14 Indiana criminal court case. In 2009, Jeffrey C. Buzzard and his newly wedded wife (his second), Stacy Alane Buzzard, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, were the subjects of multiple articles published in the general media and medical journals which chronicled Jehovah's Witness Stacy Buzzard's much heralded "miraculous" recovery after a complicated surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor. Stacy Buzzard died in January 2012. Stacy Hendry Buzzard left behind a teenage son and a teenage daughter from a previous marriage. 

In March 2013, Jeffrey Buzzard, age 43, reportedly a member of the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Edgewood Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, was arrested on five counts of child molestation and five counts of child seduction after Buzzard's 19 year-old step-daughter was voluntarily admitted to a hospital for treatment for mental health issues. During treatment, she disclosed that Buzzard had started molesting her when she was in the 4th grade, that Buzzard had started having intercourse with her during her 6th grade in school, and that Buzzard had continued doing so until she reached age 18, in June 2011. The step-daughter told police that Buzzard had threatened to commit suicide when she informed him of her plans to report him to authorities. At trial, the step-daughter described how Buzzard used her mother's terminal illness to manipulate the relationship and to trap and isolate her.

In January 2014, Jeffrey Charles Buzzard was convicted on all ten counts, and in February 2014 was sentenced to a total of 126 years in prison. Throughout his arrest and prosecution, Buzzard adamantly denied every allegation, posed himself as the actual victim, and compared his prosecution to that of the "Salem Witch Trials" -- a "typical" Jehovah's Witness.

 

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KENTUCKY v. DONOVAN JAMES MOORE is an ongoing 2015-16 Kentucky criminal court case in which a Jehovah's Witness named Donovan J. Moore, age 53, of Lexington, Kentucky, is being prosecuted on four counts of third-degree rape and four counts of third-degree sodomy for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse and sodomy with his ex-wife in 1997 and 1998, when she was only 15 years-old, and when Donovan Moore was 35 years old. Donovan James Moore and Abra Moore eventually married in 2002, had one daughter and one son, but divorced on December 28, 2011. See ABRA MOORE v. DONOVAN MOORE.

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KENTUCKY v. DANIEL MUDGE was a 2006-7 Kentucky criminal court case which involved Daniel Scott Mudge, age 25, of Danville, Kentucky, in Boyle County, Kentucky. Given that Daniel S. Mudge is the son of prominent Jehovah's Witness Elder, Donald Mudge, a/k/a Don Mudge, whose status as a Jehovah's Witness Presiding Overseer and Special Pioneer has been featured in multiple media articles in New York as well as Kentucky, including one that indicated that he and his son were "partners" in Super Clean Carpets Inc., it is likely that Dan Mudge was also a JW Elder at the time. Notably, no mention was made of Mudge's status as a Jehovah's Witness Minister in the local media's extremely abbreviated coverage of this criminal matter. (A now-retired prominent local JW Elder may still have been employed at the time by the entity that reports/controls news for that area.) In June 2006, the married-with-child Daniel Mudge traveled to an adjacent county to meet a 15 year-old female for sex. Mudge was highly disappointed when he was met by law enforcement officers, who informed him that he had been communicating via computer with a police sting operation. In January 2007, Mudge pleaded guilty to charges of criminal attempt to unlawfully transact with a minor under 16, and distribution of obscene matter to a minor (certain photos of himself). Mudge was sentenced to five years in prison, but did not serve the entire sentence. Notably, Dan Mudge had served only one day in local jail prior to prison sentencing, which indicates that someone hurried to bail him out of jail when he was initially arrested.

 

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SOUTH CAROLINA v. CLIFTON REED JR was a 2008-09 South Carolina criminal court case which involved a male Jehovah's Witness, named Clifton Reed Jr., aka Reed Clifton Jr., then age 28, who apparently was originally from the New York City area, and whom may currently be living in NYC, or elsewhere. In February 2008, Clifton Reed was arrested on charges of Obscene/Criminal Solicitation of a Minor. Interestingly, Reed had made the acquaintance of a 14 year-old female minor while attending a Jehovah's Witnesses "Get-Together" held in Charleston, South Carolina, which had been held two months earlier back during the Christmas - New Years holidays. Thereafter, the 27 year-old Reed began communicating with the 14 year-old teenager via text, telephone, and social media. Those communications rapidly evolved into solicitations for sex with the minor. The teenager reported the inappropriate communications to her JW parents, who in turn reported Reed to local police. Clifton Reed was convicted in March 2009, and apparently served an unknown short jail or prison term. Clifton Reed Jr. is supposed to be a registered sex offender, but his current residence is unknown.

 

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OKLAHOMA v. STACEY GARRETT BEGAY and OKLAHOMA v. TERRY D. BEGAY were related 2011-12 Oklahoma criminal court prosecutions. In April 2011, Tahlequah, Oklahoma police rushed to the rental home of Stacey Begay and Terry Begay after neighbors heard gunfire. There, Tahlequah police discovered that Terry Begay had fired a 9mm pistol four times at her husband, Stacey Begay, and once at her own 16 year-old daughter. Neither were struck by the shots -- although four bullet holes were found in the walls, and another in a couch. Terry Begay told police that she had just returned home and discovered her husband and her daughter engaging in sexual activity. Stacey Begay, age 46, was arrested on child abuse charges, while Terry Begay, age 46, was arrested on multiple assault charges. Stacey Begay later admitted that he and his "adopted" 16 year-old daughter had been engaging in sex for about five months. 

According to the pre-sentence report, Stacey G. Begay asked the court to consider his plea for parole so that "I can keep on doing Jehovah’s will."

 

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NEW MEXICO v. ZURI-KYE LATIFBAY McGHEE was a previous 1998 CHILD MOLESTATION prosecution. Prior to relocating to Aurora, Colorado, in April 1999, McGhee was charged with 23 counts of "criminal sexual contact with a minor" in his hometown of Roswell, New Mexico. Those charges involved 6 youthful victims. However, the Roswell Prosecutor allowed McGhee to plead guilty to "contributing to the delinquency of a minor", and McGhee served less than 11 months in jail, and came out with no sex offender record. 

At the Colorado trial, McGhee's defense attorney attempted to use the "Jehovah's Witness Defense", but the jury did not buy into such. McGhee's attorney claimed that McGhee was a "lost soul" who had been psychologically and emotionally damaged by his upbringing as a Jehovah's Witness. 

 

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VIRGINIA v. PAUL SUTHERLAND was a 2011-12 Virginia criminal court case. In April 2012, Paul Sutherland, age 46, of Lebanon, Virginia, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of carnal knowledge of a minor and three counts of forcible sodomy related to his having sexually molested his youngest daughter over a lengthy period of time. In May 2012, Sutherland was sentenced to 90 years in state prison, of which, 45 years must be served. Two to four local JWs reportedly testified on Sutherland's behalf during the sentencing phase of the trial.

 

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MISSOURI v. JIM MAZUR was a 2005-07 Missouri state criminal court case. In June 2005, Jim N. Mazur, then age 63, who then lived in Missouri Valley, Iowa, was charged in Taney County (Branson), Missouri with statutory sodomy relating to the February 2005 molestation of his 7 year-old granddaughter while he and his wife, Bonnie Mazur, visited overnight at the home of a son living in Branson. 

 

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CALIFORNIA v. JASON GLENN HALVERSON was a 2002 California appellate court case which affirmed the 2001 conviction of Jason G. Halverson on the charges of "sexual battery" and "assault with the intent to commit rape" for which Halverson was sentenced to two years in prison. This conviction related to 26 year-old Jason Halverson's April 2000 sexual assault on an 18 year-old LOWES co-worker at her apartment during her lunch break. Halverson apparently followed his co-worker home and made up an excuse to enter her apartment. There, Halverson repeatedly fondled her, and forced her to fondle him. The non-JW female reported the sexual assault to LOWES management as soon as she returned to work, and thereafter to local police.

 

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NEW JERSEY v. THOMAS BLANKENSHIP was a 2002 Connecticut prosecution involving consensual sex between a young adult Jehovah's Witness Male and two daughters of a JW Elder in one of the West Milford Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. 

 

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CALIFORNIA v. COSME PRESAS and COSME PRESAS v. WAYNE FRAZEE, OLIVIA MORENO, MARIN MORENO, ALICIA NAVARRO, WATCHTOWER SOCIETY ET AL are California state and federal criminal and civil court cases involving Cosme Presas, age 27, of Bakersfield, California, who claims to have been reared as a Jehovah's Witness, and further claims that he was regularly sexually molested by multiple fellow Jehovah's Witnesses in both Arvin, California, and Baja California, Mexico, when he was between the ages of 7 years-old and 11 years-old.  Presas claims that he repeatedly reported the abuse to both his local Elders and the WatchTower Society, and that the only action taken was his being disfellowshipped -- apparently for "lying".

 

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WEST VIRGINIA v. WATCHTOWER BETHELITE SERIAL CHILD MOLESTER was a 1982-83 Tucker County, West Virginia, criminal court case in which a yet-to-be-identified then 42 year-old Jehovah's Witness Minister, then living in Buckhannon, West Virginia, plea bargained "Guilty" to a single count of first-degree sexual abuse of a 9 year-old girl. 

 

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FLORIDA v. MICHAEL ROBERT PAIGO is an ongoing 2014 Florida criminal prosecution. In September 2014, a 35 year-old married Jehovah's Witness named Michael R. Paigo, of Lake County, Florida, was arrested and jailed on two counts of  lewd and lascivious battery on a person between 12 and 16 years old. Michael Paigo is an IT professional who has been in charge of the IT operations of three south Florida banks. 

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FLORIDA v. HUGH MURRAY is an ongoing 2013 Florida sexual assault prosecution involving a 28 year-old male Jehovah's Witness, who coincidentally was employed as a teacher's aide at the Palm Beach County School for Autism. In June 2013, Hugh R. Murray, of Lake Worth, Florida was arrested on multiple charges, including sexual assault, extortion, battery, and lewd or lascivious behavior. Police allege that the victim of Murray's criminal behavior was a 16 year-old female Jehovah's Witness who also attended the same Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness as did Murray. The then 27 year-old Murray first began "grooming" the then 15 year-old victim back in July 2012. In December 2012, Murray allegedly sexually assaulted his new underage girlfriend, and reportedly did so repeatedly until June 2013. 

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FLORIDA v. DONALD RUSSELL BROWN was a 2012-13 Florida criminal court case. In December 2012, in St. Lucie County, Florida, Donald R. Brown, then age 69, of Auburndale, Florida, was arrested on five counts of lewd and lascivious assault on a victim under 12 years old. Don Brown was held without bail. An unidentified mother and her two daughters reported and assisted in an investigation of allegations that Brown sexually assaulted the two daughters more than 300 times between 1995 and 2004, when all the involved parties lived in Georgia, and apparently, when all the involved  parties were Jehovah's Witnesses. Brown allegedly began molesting the oldest daughter in 1995, when she was six years-old. The molestations continued until 2004, when the youngest daughter was 11 years-old. Brown apparently was a member of the household up until the mother and two daughters relocated to Fort Pierce, Florida. Sometime thereafter, Don Brown followed them to Florida. In June 2013, Donald R. Brown pled guilty to one count of attempted sexual battery of a victim under 12 years-old, and was sentenced to 6 years in prison. 

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FLORIDA v. RENE PAUL LEMIEUX was a 2010-11 Florida criminal prosecution of a Jehovah's Witness Minister named Rene P. Lemieux, then age 54, of Lake Mary, Florida. Rene Paul Lemieux was arrested on sexual assault charges in October 2010, in Lake Mary, Florida. In September 2011, Rene Lemieux was convicted of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation of a Victim under 12 years-old, and he was officially designated as a Sexual Predator. Sentenced to 25 years in prison, and subject to deportation thereafter. 

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FLORIDA v. HENRY WILLIAM HAUCH and FLORIDA v. HENRY WILLIAM HAUCH were two 2007 Florida criminal court cases. In June 2006, a 14 year-old Jehovah's Witness female told family members that a Jehovah's Witness ELDER at the Titusville Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, named Henry William Hauch, age 41, of Mims, Florida, had had sex with her in 1999, when she was only 8 years old. She alleged that the assault had occurred when she had stayed the night with, and slept with, Henry W. Hauch and his wife, Aurora Hauch. Police were initially unable to obtain an arrest warrant based on the testimony of the 14 year-old Jehovah's Witness female, but in January 2007, a second female came forward and alleged that Henry Hauch also had sexually molested her. Outcome of both cases unknown.

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FLORIDA v. ALTON MCJUNKIN was a 1993-4 Florida criminal court case. In October 1993, Alton Gene McJunkin, age 47, the PRESIDING OVERSEER of the DeBary Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses was accused by an 18 year-old female of sexually assaulting her multiple times between 1986 and 1992. Outcome unknown. Alton McJunkin was a lifelong JW who had been prosecuted during the Vietnam War for refusing to be drafted into the military.

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FLORIDA v. ROTELLA was a 2006 Florida criminal court decision. In October 2006, Anthony Wayne Rotella, of Jensen Beach, Florida, pled "guilty" to one count of solicitation to tampering with evidence, and received a 5 year prison sentence. In December 2006, Anthony W. Rotella again pled guilty to one count of lewd or lacivious conduct with a minor, which was the original charge for which Tony Rotella was arrested, and was sentenced to 7 years concurrent. Anthony Rotella was released in 2011, subject to 8 years probation.  In April 2005, Anthony Rotella, 42, was arrested for offering $20.00 to a 10 year-old boy to have sex with him in the restroom of a Port St. Lucie Super Wal-Mart. 

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FLORIDA v. CHARLES LEE PEARCE was a 2012-13 Florida criminal prosecution of a 67 year-old Jehovah's Witness Minister named Charles L. Pearce, of Pensacola, Florida. In August 2012, Charles Pearce was arrested on charges of LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS MOLESTATION of a victim less than 12 years of age.  In what appears to have been a plea deal, in October 2012, charges were reduced to CHILD ABUSE-NEGLECT. In May 2013, Charles Lee Pearce was reportedly sentenced to 36 months probation. Pearce allegedly still attends the East Hill Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Pensacola.

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GEORGIA v. LEONARD BERNARD PALMITESTO was a 1996-97 Georgia state criminal prosecution of a "mobile" Jehovah's Witness who uses multiple aliases.  Leonard B. Palmitesto, then age 43, was convicted of one count of Statutory Rape and one count of Child Molestation committed in June 1996, and was sentenced in June 1997 to 15 years in prison. Palmitesto was released in September 2010.

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FLORIDA v. HUGH BENJAMIN MARTIN and FLORIDA v. HUGH BENJAMIN MARTIN were related 1994 Florida criminal court decisions. In February 1995, a Jehovah's Witness Elder, named Hugh Benjamin Martin, then age 61, pleaded "guilty" to the charge of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under the age of 12, and was sentenced to a mere two years of house arrest, followed by 13 years' probation. Hugh Benjamin Martin was an Elder at one of the Clearwater Florida Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses. On June 24, 1993, during the 1993 summer WatchTower Convention, held in St. Petersburg, a fellow Jehovah's Witness GrandMother, who had known Hugh Martin for over 30 years, allowed Martin to take her fidgety 9 year-old grand-daughter for a stroll around the ThunderDome. Martin allegedly fondled and twice digitally penetrated the child while she was in his care at the stadium. Hugh Benjamin Martin was separately charged for the same offense, later that same day, at his home in Clearwater. Outcome unknown. Apparently, the JW GrandMother allowed Martin to take the girl home with him?

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CALIFORNIA v. CHARLES JONES (1991) and CALIFORNIA v. CHARLES JONES (1996-2012). Described as "very religious", Charles Jones has been a Jehovah's Witness since 1980. Jones has testified at trial that he considers his WatchTower religion to be "very important in his life". At least two psychologists have also labeled Jones a "pedophile", and the state of California has adjudged Jones to be a "Sexually Violent Predator". 

 

CALIFORNIA v. MICHAEL JAMES SMITH is a 1994-2011 ongoing California case involving a Jehovah's Witness named Michael J. Smith. In 1994, Michael Smith was charged with 56 counts stemming from his molestation of four boys in their early teens. Smith met all of his victims through his painting business. In each case, Smith "groomed his victims" by offering them employment, and then befriending them, buying them gifts, taking them on trips, and inviting them into his home. After establishing a trusted relationship, he would molest the boys. Smith pled guilty to 2-3 counts against each of the four victims; and in exchange, the remaining 45 counts were dismissed, and Smith was sentenced to 21 years in state prison.

 

 

Visalia, CA -- A 38-year-old Visalia man who was a leader in a local Jehovah's Witness congregation may face up to 16 years in prison on charges of sexually molesting a 12-year-old congregation member. Louis Anguiano served until last year as an elder at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 5310 Caldwell Ave. He is accused of continuous sexual abuse, over a two-year period, of a girl who attended the same congregation. (The Fresno Bee, January 30, 2003) 

Visalian who was a Jehovah's Witness leader accused by girl, 12.

 

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New Bedford, MA. An Attleboro Jehovah's Witnesses minister, Ralph Heroux, 74, yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of two counts of rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. (The Standard Times, Jan. 2, 2003) 

Minister charged with child rape

 

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) -- A woman said she and her husband have been excommunicated from the Jehovah's Witnesses after speaking out against the church's handling of their daughter's allegations of sex abuse by another member. (May 11, 2002, AP) 

Jehovah's Witnesses expel parents of alleged abuse victim 

http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/05/11/jehovahs.witnesses.ap/index.html

 

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OTHELLO, WA. -- A lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the Othello Spanish Jehovah's Witnesses congregation and its New York governing body, alleging they covered up the sexual abuse of a child. (1/23/2002, Tri-City Herald) 

Lawsuit alleges coverup by Jehovah's Witnesses

 

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SOUTER Robert Leslie, 46 Wollongong Jehovah's Witness church member. Receives maximum 5 year jail sentence in Wollongong District Court after pleading guilty to 5 sex charges, including 1 count of buggery and 4 of indecent assault, against 2 teenage boys between 1978 and 1980. Court hears Souter, who attended Jehovah's Witness Corrimal congregation at Balgownie, assaulted victims while on beach and Blue Mountains church outings. Court told church elders told of offences in 1990 but failed to contact police. Judge criticises church for failing to report criminal activity, saying church may have spiritual responsibility but it does not exceed state authority. (New South Wales, Australia, 2000).

 

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HOUSTON - A lawsuit has been filed accusing the national Jehovah's Witnesses organization of refusing to alert authorities to the extended sexual abuse of a minor by her brother while they were both members of the church.

 

The plaintiff, a 19-year-old woman, said that she had been sexually abused by her brother, now 22, since the mid-1980s. In 1988, the family sought counseling by church elder Kerry "John" Landers. The suit claims that Landers was instructed by the national office to handle the matter in-house rather than to report the abuse to the authorities as required by Texas law.

 

Despite counseling, the brother continued to molest his sister. In 1992 the local church leadership appointed Landers and two other elders to investigate. The brother confessed to them and apologized and the elders put the matter to rest. He was convicted of sexual abuse and sentenced to prison. In that trial,Landers testified under a grant of immunity about his instructions to keep it quiet.

 

The attorney representing the church said it strongly believes it committed no wrongdoing and said they vowed to defend themselves vigorously. (3/24/98)

 

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NAME SUPPRESSED BY COURT ORDER, QLD Jehovah's Witness church member. Appears in Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with 24 sex offences, including incest and indecent assault, involving adolescents, dating back to 1960s. Court hears defendant had allegations made against him at church meetings in 1972, 1993 and 1994. Judge told 6 elders, who attended these meetings, refused to give evidence in court on grounds they were "religiously bound" not to divulge "privileged" information. Judge rejects claims. In 1994, defendant's wife, 62, also appears in Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with carnal knowledge against nature and deprivation of liberty. (R Quinlan CM 941103) (Queensland, Australia, 1994).

 

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Jehovah's Witness Thomas Rosserr, 38, pleaded guilty to two sexual intercourse with a 13 year old girl at Bible Classes and was sentenced to 21 months at Teeside Crown Court. (1990, England)

 

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Jehovah's Witness given 8 years at Chelmsford for raping two girls. Yeates chanted "Satan. Satan" whilst raping them and claimed the devil made him do it. 1987.