Britain | Jehovah's Witnesses hushed up child sex scandal | July 16, 2013

by jwleaks 172 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • GoneAwol

    3 cheers for Judge Penny Moreland! I think the judicial system is getting sick of these perverts who hide behind badly reasoned scriptures. I hope more judges are like her

    Think about these 3 elders for a minute. The stress they must have been under fighting court summons orders for 3 years. Most likely under the guidance of 'mother'. The wtbts obviously dont give a shizen about them either, using them as pawns in their 'dodge the system' game.

    I hope more elders wake up because of this case.

  • besty

    elders would have been advised that their refusal to give a statement, attend court and answer questions would likely lead to contempt of court, jail time + a criminal record.

    they did the right thing at the last minute when they had no other choice and were facing jail themselves, all to protect an alledged paedophile and their precious organisation

    this is the Watchtower Child Protection Policy in action.

  • mP

    I woudld sue not only the WTS but everyone in the cong for standing behind the org, if was the kid Its rare in these cases somebody else didnt know or raise concerns.

  • The Quiet One
  • The Quiet One
    The Quiet One

    If anyone wants to get the transcript.. " long as it is not sealed (not the norm, but if the case involves domestic violece/PO/NCO), all you have to do is call the Clerk of the Court where his case was handled. Any Clerk can pull the file and tell you whether or not they have a copy of whatever transcript youare in need of. If the Court's file does not have it, they can tell you who the Court Reporter was as well as supply you with that contact information. In either case, be prepared to pay.."

  • The Quiet One
  • Prime
    Mr Scott said after the “confession” Leighton was “reproved”, which means he was disciplined and all privileges removed from him.
    He was not, at that stage, “disfellowed”, or banished from the church. Being “disfellowed” means nobody is allowed to speak to the disfellowed member and while they may still attend meetings, they are not allowed to participate.
    Mr Scott said contacting the police was not discussed as an option.
    It was only later, when allegations of violence were made against Leighton, that he was disfellowed and expelled from the congregation.
    Mr Scott said: “It is not what you expect a Christian, someone who lives by Christian standards, to do, acting violently towards someone.
    “The Bible says violence should be avoided.”
    Henry Logan is also an elder at the congregation. He was also at the meeting and had participated in the internal “investigation”. He too said Leighton had initially denied the allegations.
    But he added: “He then said that he had been drunk at the time and he may have done those things while he was drunk.”
    Mr Logan said he was present when Leighton was told he would be reproved after the admissions.
    He said: “He put his hands over his face and said ‘oh, I thought I was going to be disfellowshipped’ and he had tears in his eyes.”
    Simon Preyser is an elder from the Roker congregation in Sunderland.
    He chaired the meeting and described the allegations as “horrific”.
    Mr Preyser told the court about Leighton’s initial denials but added: “He said ‘it might well be, while under the influence of alcohol, I did things I shouldn’t have done. Some of the things she’s said, I’ve done’.
    “He just simply said ‘I’m sorry’.”

    According to what's stated in Galatians 6:1, the elders don't have the right to automatically disfellowship anyone if a person appears to be repentant. If anything else ever comes to light however, a person is rarely given a third chance as indicated in this article. These articles are evidence of what I've stated in the past, that it's adults that tell things to elders, not children.
    Prosecutor Katherine Dunn told the court the victim, who is now an adult, broke her silence in 2009.

    It appears that the victim told the police and the elders at about the same time. I disagree with the elder's decision to not initially turn the confession over to the investigating officers and the court without being compelled. They did however comply with the law and it doesn't appear that evidence of a penitential communication to a religious leader was needed for a successful prosecution.

    You also have to wonder how the legal system found out that this man confessed to the elders. It's likely because the congregation publicized this matter to some extent. This would not be the case with traditional “ penitential communications,” and some laws in the United States would block any disclosure to the legal system or anyone else. The laws in the US are black and white.

    1032. As used in this article, "penitential communication" means a communication made in confidence, in the presence of no third person so far as the penitent is aware, to a member of the clergy who, in the course of the discipline or practice of the clergy member's church, denomination, or organization, is authorized or accustomed to hear those communications and, under the discipline or tenets of his or her church, denomination, or organization, has a duty to keep those communications secret.

    When it comes to any other church that's been criticized for their response to this matter, if a person was stripped of any and all privileges on the first offense, and kicked out of the church on a second offense, there would be no “scandal.”

  • Narcissistic Supply
    Narcissistic Supply

    My prayers for the victims.

  • besty


    When it comes to any other church that's been criticized for their response to this matter, if a person was stripped of any and all privileges on the first offense, and kicked out of the church on a second offense, there would be no “scandal.

    persecution complex kicking in? the scandal is that the Jehovahs Witness leadership refused to cooperate with the criminal justice system investigating child abuse

    for 3 years and only did so at the 11th hour when they were facing jail time and a criminal record

    <and producing a barrister from 400 miles away to argue your case is not exactly textbook compliance>

    why on earth the elders weren't allowed by HQ to give a statement is beyond me.

  • besty

    @ prime :

    Not that CA law has jurisdiction in the UK, but I'm sure you understand why "penitential communication" was found not to be a reason to withold evidence in thsi case.

    The judge was clear - the public interest in the facts of the case and seeing justice done overrides any claimed privilege.

    And as jeffro already pointed out - 2 other elders being present and then communicating that confession to the WTS Legal Dept kinda undermines the privilege claim.

    The WTS wants high control over its agents (elders), whilst claiming religious rights, but the Courts aren't interested in their bullshit.

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