Vermont Sisters Sue Jehovah's Witnesses For Child Sex Abuse

by Watchtower-Free 41 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • defender of truth
    defender of truth

    Punk, good point.
    "This is a civil suit, but the mom says she talked to police. We did confirm with state police that they investigated the case back in 1996 and forwarded it to the Windham County state's attorney at the time, Dan Davis. Davis told WCAX News that he cannot recall the case and couldn't say why charges weren't filed."

  • joe134cd

    Wt is in the shit and they know it.

  • Sol Reform
    Sol Reform

    A spokesperson for the Jehovah's Witnesses did not respond to a request for comment. NECN affiliate WPTZ reached True by phone in Maine. He told the station he had nothing to say.

  • Sol Reform
    Sol Reform

    The congregation and the Watchtower Bible and Track Society of New York did not return messages seeking comment.

  • Sol Reform
    Sol Reform

    "In our experience with these folks, they are very uncooperative ...

    When asked if it is trickier to work a case about an incident that is 20 years old, Zalkin said there are always difficulties when it comes to sexual abuse cases.

    "But we're pretty comfortable with this case, that we have everything we need," he said. "It was reported to law enforcement at the time. We have some witnesses who can corroborate and I think we're going to be just fine."

  • Sol Reform
    Sol Reform

    Irwin Zalkin, a San Diego based lawyer specializing in sexual abuse cases, said it’s fairly common for police not to pursue charges in sex abuse cases involving young children.

    “They’re tough cases for [law enforcement],” he said. “They have a high standard, a high burden of proof. They’re very different than the civil cases.”

  • Sol Reform
    Sol Reform

    'Much like the sexual abuse cases against the Catholic Church, the Lewises’ cases could hinge on what records, if any, were kept by the church. Zalkin said he believes there are documents that will prove the church was aware of the alleged abuse.

    He said Watchtower issued a “body of elders letter” in 1997 to all congregations in the United States “telling them they are to provide to the Watchtower all of the information that they have in their confidential files of anyone who has ever been accused of child molestation.”

    Zalkin said, “There’s documentation. I guarantee you there’s documentation.”

    However, Watchtower has yet to provide such information in all the previous lawsuits against it.

    “We have made a document production request for those records in every case that we have with the Jehovah’s Witnesses,” Zalkin said. “They refuse to produce that documentation.”

    In one case in California the trial court dismissed the group’s defense and entered a default judgment against it for refusing to abide by the court’s order to produce the information, according to Zalkin.

    That ruling was contested before the California Supreme Court and upheld, he said.

    In cases that were already filed, the church has indicated it will not produce any documents, he said.

    “They have issued a writing to our law firm saying, ‘Under no circumstances will we ever produce these records,’” Zalkin said.

    “So, we’re going to see what that’s going to mean for them in these lawsuits, because I don’t think courts are going to let them get away with that.”

  • under the radar
    under the radar

    Wouldn't it interesting if wikileaks or anonymous hacked into the Society's records about child abuse accusations and made them public? I wonder if those records are even on their computer system. If they were smart, they would be in hard-copy (paper) form only. Did Barbara Anderson ever say whether those records were on computer or not when she was there?

    Does anyone have a copy or know the exact date of the BOE letter Zalkin was talking about? It would be interesting to read exactly what was said. If anyone had one of the originals it could be the smoking gun that forces the Society to open its files.

  • oldguy

    My daughter married a JW brother who had been molested for years by his uncle who was at one point an elder.

    Needless to say the marriage didn't work out very well in the intimate department and they eventually divorced. She however came out of the big O thank God!

  • under the radar
    under the radar

    For what it's worth, I found that BOE letter Zalkin was talking about. It's dated March 14, 1997. It actually only required the congregations to forward detailed information on any "known" child molesters who either were serving or had served in any official capacity in that congregation. Those who had only been accused or who had not served in any appointed capacity did not have to be reported. Still, it could prove useful in making the Society produce whatever documentation they have on a particular individual.

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