Provo Mormon bishop may face criminal charge for not reporting sex abuse, police say

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  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    Nov. 18, 2011 6:44 p.m.

    Mormon bishops are persecuted in Utah. seriously, everytime I read the comments on an article like this I marvel at the moral ambiguity of the mormon culture.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 17, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    Why is the bishop being singled out for prosecution? This was not an incident done in a conner, but was at a public activity? Were there not any adults at that activity? Why are they not at least as liable for reporting the incident as the bishop?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 17, 2011 8:19 p.m.

    This seems overdoing it. The abuse case has been dismissed. I do not think that there is grounds to chage people for failure to report if there is not a clear case of wrongdoing.

  • Rainman Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 17, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    "Siufanua said charges against Rojas will send a message about the importance of reporting abuse, regardless of whether the report is accurate."

    So, they are charging the Bishop to send a message? I would think you would charge the Bishop because there is a crime.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 17, 2011 8:39 a.m.

    Clark Kent, The above story stated that the bishop was exempt from the requirements of the law if it was done as a confession and not corroborated by one of the victims. If that statement in the article is correct, then there was nothing to charge the bishop with.

  • Keith43 Springville, UT
    Nov. 17, 2011 8:11 a.m.

    Another important consideration is that the child who reports abuse could have been the victim of on-going abuse for some time, by someone else other than the alleged perpetrator because he/she is upset with or dislikes someone and claims "abuse" to get even. However, the clergyman is still obligated to report the alleged abuse.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 17, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    He was the Lord's servant so he should never be prosecuted for this.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Nov. 17, 2011 12:31 a.m.

    "Rifleman | 6:11 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I find it interesting that this girl didn't report this incident to her mother or father in which case they should have gone to the police."

    Rifleman shows the glaring judgement put down on potential victims. Let me enlighten you, sometimes victims of abuse don't tell their parents because....they blame themselves and are in fear that their parents will not believe them or blame them. This is why Bishops are to report crimes, it is in the handbook, stop blaming victims.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:10 p.m.

    I have to say that I agree with the comment that in today's world, you're taking heavy risks if you do anything involving minors. Many of them are not emotionally stable (let alone possessing common sense) and all it takes is one accusation . . . and YOU ARE TOAST. The system will automatically believe that the child is telling the truth, and you're never in a position to deny anything. But, there are cases where serious things happen and someone chooses to sweep it under the rug and let it go, based on their relationships or their reluctance to get involved in anything having to do with any kind of confrontation. It's tough territory, and my heart goes out to anyone who's brave enough to work with any youth in today's world. It's just big-time risk, and with the wrong set of circumstances, they can throw the key away and your life is basically over.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:02 p.m.

    Regarding your post, "oldschool": The probable reason that the cases you mentioned were not processed completely is because they didn't involve SEX. In our sex-obsessed society, sex is the only thing we take seriously. That's why we have a sex-offender registry, but no registry for drug dealers, drug manufacturers, embezzlers, burglars, robbers, batterers, wife beaters, or even murderers. The system and the society are all about dealing with (and going ballistic over) SEX . . . hence the destroyed lives of young teachers who get involved with students (always the "victims"), when many other dangerous people get a slap of the wrists. Gotta have the sex involved, or it doesn't count.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 7:50 p.m.

    dumprake . . . You are absolutely right. There is actually no moral or ethical standard or requirement for police personnel and/or prosecutors to obtain or keep their jobs. They often like to get points any way they can, and it doesn't bother many of them at all if they arrive at the wrong conclusions or punish an innocent victim and ruin lives. Also, society continues to cling to the idea that "children never lie," when anyone who knows children knows that they come up with all kinds of things for attention, or for vengeance. Turning the dogs loose on someone without taking a hard look at probable facts is asking of a long, drawn-out disaster in most cases. I've spent a quarter century working with all levels of government, and because it has no competition and is based on politics, government is usually not the solution that naive people think it is.

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 7:16 p.m.

    I think many people here just don't get it. The law is very clear in Utah. If anyone has reason to suspect child abuse or neglect they are required to report it. Anyone means everyone. It is not just professionals, it is everyone in the state.

    When a child tells you they were abused, you have reason to suspect. The law does not give you the luxury of being judge and jury and deciding it isn't true. Yes there are false reports, but it is up to the police and DCFS to sort that out. No one has the right to cover this stuff up.

    And besides breaking the law, this Bishop should be released for being insubordinate to the President of the Church. You can't just ignore the mandate from the prophet to report all abuse just because you don't want to. If he had called the help line, they would have told him to report the incident.

  • Rainman Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    Too bad my old neighbor can't be a bishop. She was really good at calling the police...about everything.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    Random thoughts after reading through comments:
    1) The related law is in the Utah Criminal code: 62a-4a-403 & 411 and probably more. Learn how to look it up, it's just a google search away.
    2) The rub in the law seems to be in the wording "has reason to believe" and how does it apply.
    3) I don't think the issue is whether or not the Bishop should have reported it (he clearly should have based on Church policy) but whether or not the state should be prosecuting him for failure to report a non-crime that they themselves determined not to pursue. They might as well prosecute the DA for failure to prosecute a non-crime then. How come the DA gets a pass when ultimately the jury decides guilt or innocence? Seems to me the DA should be under the same requirement to "report the incident" to the Jury by prosecuting the case.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    Clearly the Bishop should have reported it to the Police to follow the handbook.
    b
    But, sooner or later someone with a brain is going to have to evaluate the situation and make a decision. Our legal system is over loaded with everything. We need more, not less, people willing to help people make good decisions.

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 16, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    Even if the bishop was to report this, would it have changed the charges against the man who groped the girl? Not to say the bishop did the right thing, but the justice system is screwed up for a victim of sexual assault...even if it seemed "accidental".

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 3:12 p.m.

    @ Pat: That would depend on the laws of the state in which the event takes place.

    In the state of Utah a child who is 17 can legally consent to sex with someone who is within 10 years of their age. In your scenario, a "sin" may have occurred, but not a crime.

  • Kass SLC, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 3:06 p.m.

    The reputation of the Catholic Church was not ruined by child sex abuse or allegations of child sex abuse - the reputation of the Catholic Church was ruined because they failed to act upon the reports they received.

    It is not the right, duty, or responsibility of a church to investigate allegations of abuse - it is the duty and responsibility of a church to report all such allegations to the proper authorities.

    The Mormon Church knows this and has given clear cut guidelines to their members who are in positions of authority. The Bishop in question failed to follow Church procedure which included a failure to follow the law - if he had done as instructed by the Church, he would have avoided this situation.

    The fact that hindsight shows that there is not enough evidence for the police to pursue the matter does not change the requirements of the Church or the law.

    (I find it bizarre that some posters claim only haters expect members of the Church to follow the rules of the Church.)

  • Pat Sandy, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 2:56 p.m.

    The final sentence in this article states: "A clergyman who learns of abuse from the confession of the perpetrator is not liable unless they also receive information from the alleged victim."Question: What if a young man and young lady both age 17 (i. e. both minors/ children) confess consensual sex to their clergyman. But, I don't believe a minor / child can consent to sex. So, both are not only perpetrators but also victims. Would the clergyman be required to report the "sexual abuse" to the authorities?

  • Sassafrass St George, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 2:26 p.m.

    Keith43 - Thank you. Simply stated. When the perpetrator is good friends with the bishop, that friendship needs to be put aside and the bishop needs to act in accordance with Church guidelines. For a bishop to ignore a young girl because he doesn't believe it is entirely unacceptable.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Nov. 16, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    @keith,skeptic and a few others.
    I appreciate your "opinion" on this issue, though your hatred bleeds through like a leaky hose.
    So in light of the fact that you were'nt present at the visit between the bishop and the young woman, try to not presume to have all the answers.
    Those refering to this incident as a Utah thing or special indulgance given because of that, read the other article about the Catholic priest who was found to have hundres of nude child porn pictures on his computor. And the Catholic Arch bishop who did nothing to report it.
    And the headline says Catholic priest avoid prosecution...because from now on
    they both promised to report anything and to monitor the priest's behavior.
    But they both will remain in their positions of authority.
    I didn't see any of you keyboard critics even comment on that article.
    Can't imagine why.

  • Keith43 Springville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    If a young woman or young man voluntarily comes to their bishop to report an alleged abuse, it must be handled in accordance within Church guidelines (handbook), and state law. There's no debate - it's as simple as that. And the bishops know this. There's no excuse.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    Re: teleste | 11:35 p.m. Nov. 15, 2011 Provo, UT

    Sometimes it is impossible to have a meaningful discussion with someone who lives with ignorant stereotypes. When one's world is defined through the distorted prism of perceiving a person of your political/social opposite (i.e. liberal or progressive) as "evil socialist" and not having the dignity of being a fellow human being, is it any wonder than nothing can get done.

    Let's leave the religious bigotry aside, open your eyes, and see that such comments have no place in the conversation. Criticism of negligent behavior in an individual does not translate into criticism of the entire community.

    Do only "conservatives" have the keys to what is right in the world? Do only "conservatives" stand for principle and the good that we all desire for ourselves and for others? Some may say "yes", but they live in a bubble of loneliness and despair. When a person can only be happy with others who think and live exactly as they do, then you have a Stepford world which only evokes sadness.

  • oldschool Farmington, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    So a bishop thinks a girl might have been accidentally touched and then gets charged even though he has no "reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect"? And yet the state is too busy to follow up on legitimate reports of neglect! Some teachers at an elementary school here in Utah told my wife that they won't call the state anymore because their reports "never do any good" and are sometimes ignored altogether. Recently a child said he was forced to sleep outside in subzero weather because of some minor infraction. The teacher told my wife that she would not report it to the state because she had never seen any followup on several reports, and even when it was obvious that the child's welfare was in danger, the child was allowed to stay in the home with the offending parent. In one case a girl told a teacher that her mother had stabbed her, and then showed the wound. It was reported. The state looked into it and left her in the home. My wife talked with a state attorney about these and other reports, and he said the state was underfunded.

  • Kdee SLC, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    @ anti-liar: Yes, the investigation was a draw - there was not enough evidence one way or the other - but the Bishop did not know that.

    The allegation was cause to suspect something had occurred - he should have reported it.

  • BoomerJeff Saint George, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    This whole situation has me worried. Who wants to serve in primary or the young men/young women program at all if your reputation can be destroyed by a false accusation. Just one youth can get mad at you, create a situation, and then the bishop HAS TO call the police, YIKES!!!

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    Any females on this comment board? Any females who have been groped, grabbed, assaulted, etc.?
    Many men seem to find such an incident as of no significance. Wonder why?

  • runsrealfast POCATELLO, ID
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    @skeptic - because there are so many bishops and providing this training would be difficult there are help lines established by the church to assist. The other thing is if the bishop would have followed the handbook this article doesn't get written and i'm not wasting my time posting this.

    Your point is valid but logisically its difficult. That is why the handbook and the helpline are there.

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    So a Bishop should not be held accountable for not reporting abuse, but Joe Paterno should? Consistency, people, consistency ....

    ________________

    This is Utah friend... Paterno isn't LDS.

    I just keep waiting for people to start attacking the little girls "character".

  • Sassafrass St George, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    My daughter went to the Bishop AND Stake President because of inappropriate things that her father did to her. It was heart-wrenching for her to relive the traumatic experiences as she explained what happened. Neither one of them did a thing. The Stake President said there was nothing he could do because there were no witnesses. Neither one reported it. What message did they send to her? If something were to happen in the future, would she feel comfortable going to her leaders? Not only did they not report it, they gave him a recommend to marry in the temple.

  • Let's be real Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:00 p.m.

    From one Mormon to another: If you have a person who suspects that she has been abused and reports it to you, REPORT IT TO POLICE! Do not sit on the information over the fact that perhaps it did not happen or that he is a good member of the ward etc. You can still report it to the police along with church authorities which you have a special number as a leader to call in those instances. Merely sitting on the information will bring you trouble and perhaps jail. The police probably has the ability to keep it under wraps while they investigate. That way you can protect a possible innocent party. How many times does our society have to go through this before the 101 lesson is learned?

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 11:43 a.m.

    To Rifleman | 9:12 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Re: Keith43 | 9:01 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011
    "the victim must be potected from further abuse"

    Wouldn't a 13-year old victim's mother and father normally be the first line of defense? I question whether we are being told the whole story here.

    ---------------------

    Given your assertion, a more pertinent question would be this -- why didn't the child feel safe talking with her parents about what happened to her.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    If it was determined that there was no reasonable evidence to prove guilt, why does the legal system now want to prosecute a citizen that is trying his best to serve the community for a crime not committed?

    And the police want us to help them? With these "Brown Shirt" tactics, we are going to see more people afraid to get involved and hate law enforcement authorities with a passion.

    Teaching people lessons and throwing them in jail for errors in judgment is not the best way to make our communities safer.

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    It doesn't matter if the bishop didn't believe the allegations or not. That's not his call to make in this situation. Whether the bishop believes the charges or not, it's his duty to report them to the police to sort out. That's not behaving like the Gestapo in Nazi Germany, it's reporting possible sexual abuse. The fact that somebody would think it's okay to not say something when there is even the possibility of abuse sickens me.

    In this case, the police determined that there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute the claims. That's very different from saying that the perpetrator is innocent of the charges. Regardless, whether it happened or not, the bishop had the responsibility to go to the police with the allegations, and he didn't.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    It could be possible there is more to the story. IF the bishop did contact the hotline right after the discussion with the girl and received legal advice there should be a record of the discussion and of the advice given. The hotline is available to bishops 24/7 and gives them access to lawyers experienced in these matters.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 11:08 a.m.

    Re: Trooper55 | 10:52 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011
    "maybe the Stake President should step down"

    It's always nice to know the facts before deciding to send someone to jail. There are even those who might go so far as to suggest and trial and conviction before handing down sentence.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    So a Bishop should not be held accountable for not reporting abuse, but Joe Paterno should? Consistency, people, consistency ....

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    Re: ClarkKent | 9:09 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011
    "I wonder why that Bishop wasn't charged?"

    "priestpenitent privilege" otherwise known as clergy privilege or confessional privilege applies to a confession by a perpetrator to clergy. This confidentiality does not apply when it is the victim goes to clergy.

    The bishop who heard the confession of the father you referred to had no responsibility to go to the police.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    I guess now maybe the Church in a whole should be looked into maybe the Stake President should step down, or maybe you should clean your own house before you comdens what happen to Penn. State. I would lioke to see more article about this problem being brought tolife and palster all over the paper like you did with Penn State.Maybe the Bishop and Stake President should be brought up on this cover up. I don't believe this will happen though. It might look bad for the church and they too are look up to by the youth.

  • Europe Topeno, Finland
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    The sad thing is that Police has nothing but the harshest methods in these cases... Once again this makes more and more paranoya in the over stressed American society. It is like shouting "wolf" in the forest till no one comes. I have ZERO tolerance on abuse, but where does one draw the line when consenting teen agers are involved? Where is the room for repentance and where/how can the parents help/ the bishop help/ all this is doing is that less and less teens will talk. There has to be room for the bishop to consider what is right... perhaps with the parents. The police is not the answer, just an end solution. Too bad that money matters too much. Large organizations are an easy prey to the vicious lawyers and need to protect themselves with strict rules... Why does nobody consider the Bishop in this case, perhaps he did the right thing after all?

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 10:07 a.m.

    I have some difficulty in the "religion" of only trusting police and government authorities. It's like if you have a small fire in your backyard, don't try to put it out or ask your neighbor to help you, call the fire department.

    Having been a bishop, I understand this issue clearly, and the government and the police, being distant from the event, never has as good a perspective on what should be done, as do church leaders who are there. Nobody wants to hide or protect inappropriate behavior, but to assume everything is a criminal act and should be reported, borders on Nazi Germany and the indoctrination to get everybody to spy and snitch on their neighbor--because the government says so. I trust the church a thousand times more than I trust the government or the police.

  • VocalLocal Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    I actually think the bishop shouldn't be prosecuted IF he didn't report the incident because he felt the alleged action didn't occur. While I understand that we need to protect children I think we also should be allowed to use some degree of personal judgment before we throw someone into the hands of law enforcement. The reality is that false allegations happen A LOT-a police officer once told me 50% of the sexual assault cases he had responded to were false accusations. While I wish we could catch 100% of real crimes I also think the impact of false accusations are terrible-ripping families apart, ruining careers and even sometimes imprisonment of the innocent. The bishop in this case may have used his personal judgment to conclude the accusations were false and thus far it appears he was right-I would say to drop the charges against the bishop.

  • Keith43 Springville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    Rifleman, you're right in some cases. But, believe it or not, more times than not, the father is the perpetrator; and, believe it or not,many times the mother has full knowledge of what's going on. It can be a very complex issue within a family setting. Typically, the perpetrator is removed from the home. But, often times, it is necessary that the child be removed from the family.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    Several of you are forgetting the testimony of one other person.....the bishop.
    How 'bout we get off our "know all-see all" attitudes and let the legal system run it's course.
    The fact that charges were dropped, sends one message and that there was a witness saying it was accidental doesn't let anybody off the hook.
    But it does tell me that there is more to this story, or maybe less.
    So put yer hangin' ropes away and give this bishop the chance to defend himself.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    I'm all for going crazy when real abuse takes place. Really. Fire everyone at Penn State.

    But trying to turn Americans into the Gestapo is WAY out of control. The Bishop used his best judgement. That is better than a Police Officers best judgement.

    Really. Think about it.

    When everyone is trying to catch someone to report them our community gets worse.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    Re: Keith43 | 9:01 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011
    "the victim must be potected from further abuse"

    Wouldn't a 13-year old victim's mother and father normally be the first line of defense? I question whether we are being told the whole story here.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:09 a.m.

    @Keith43, I think, unfortunately, that this frequently happens. If I recall correctly, there was a famous family of 5 children in Utah where the adult female finally went to the police about their father's abuse to prevent him from abusing other girls. It was reported that the father had gone to his Bishop, yet it was the girls who went to the police, not the Bishop. I wonder why that Bishop wasn't charged?

  • Keith43 Springville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    The mear fact that the young woman had the courage to come forward and report the incident to her bishop, is reason enough that the bishop should have reported it, In such instances, it's not his place as the "judge in Israel", to make a unilateral decision to not report the incident. At a minimum, he should have consulted with his Stake President; who I'm sure would have directed him to call the Church hotline. While a bishop, I had only one case of this nature. The girl had been abused for an extended period of time by two members of her family. It was a courageous decision on her part, to come forward at all because her family was active, deeply involved and well-liked in the ward. In spite of this family's involvement, she came forward anyway. One can only imagine the pain she must have been in.

    A point that must also be made, is that where abuse has in fact occurred, the victim must be potected from further abuse - as well as others. Because, often times there has been a long history of the abuse of others.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:52 a.m.

    Mormons boast that their church has lay clergy. However, the position of Mormon bishop can have an important and influencial influence in a community. Perhaps, it would be to the communities and the church's benefit to have requirements for bishops to attend (and be certified) a public training school or program.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    Can any of you possibly envision a situation where you are a grown man ACCIDENTALLY touching the front of a shirt of a teenage girl? Lets get real here ... Men who aren't pedofiles NEVER accidentally touch a child where they shouldn't be touched. It just doesn't happen.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:42 a.m.

    "Utah law requires that when someone "has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, or who observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, that person shall immediately notify the nearest peace officer, law enforcement agency, or office of the division."

    Does anyone know if the author has correctly report this law? The way it is worded it would apply to ANYONE? Is that correct?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Nov. 16, 2011 8:34 a.m.

    Getting groped at a church function - Yeah children shouldn't have to worry about that kind of stuff. A male at the age of 30 should not be touching any girl at a church function period. I wouldn't make any excuses for this guy, as either way you look at it, innocent or not, he shouldn't have been doing that.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 6:49 a.m.

    teleste:

    Congratulations on lowering a serious incident involving the safety and welfare of a minor to that of the venom of party politics.

    Why exactly do you feel the need to assume this is going to be a rally cry against religion, Mormonism, or President Bush? If anything, you are trying to pick a fight where one does not exist. If anything you are trying to create a red herring in an attempt to distract people from what is important here.

    What matters is that an 'individual' who has a legal and ethical responsibility to protect a minor, failed in his duty. Whether that person be Bishop, Priest, (or even family friend) the failure is his, but it is made worse because of the trust placed in him because of his calling.

    So again, why do you feel the need to drag this into the realm of politics?

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2011 6:11 a.m.

    I find it interesting that this girl didn't report this incident to her mother or father in which case they should have gone to the police.

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Nov. 16, 2011 3:56 a.m.

    ---teleste | 11:35 p.m. Nov. 15, 2011
    Provo, UT
    Cue all the liberals blaming religion, Mormonism---

    The handbook is there not only to protect victims of crime but to protect bishops and their counselors. Follow the handbook that the Brethren have put together to protect everyone and keep the LDS Church from the situation the Catholic Church found itself in with systematic covering up of abuse. Following the handbook would have kept this bishop out of legal trouble and not give opportunity to have anyone say anything more about this. Follow the handbook and let the legal process work itself out.

  • One of Vai's Cousins DC, Washington
    Nov. 16, 2011 2:20 a.m.

    I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would want to be a Bishop? Long hours away from family, personal liability in situations such as this, endlessly hearing confessions of things you likely have zero expertise to handle, etc. Of course I also can't figure out why anyone would run to their Bishop and confess something to their neighbor who likely has zero expertise to help you anyway.

    I have to admit, the day I allowed logic and common sense to become part of the equation for evaluating what I think of religious matters is the day the "shelf" started to collapse. Sometimes I long for the days when I could just "bow my head and say yes" but once you cross that divide you never see things the same again. For me, what we do, say and believe in the name of religion is becoming more silly, perplexing and nonsensical to me by the day.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 1:01 a.m.

    It seems we've got two very different standards going on here: one, what the police sergeant said, "when you receive a complaint of abuse," and two, the law itself: "...has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect." (And the Church's own instructions are to follow the law.)

    I think I'm going to have to advocate for Rojas on this one. Based on what the investigators found out -- that it was a perfectly innocent accident -- is it unreasonable to consider the distinct possibility that in the course of his interview with the girl himself, Rojas, too, had no "reason to believe" that actual abuse had, in fact, taken place?

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 16, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    @teleste

    A little sensitive are we?

    This liberal says that the perpetrator should rot in jail. This liberal also says that if the Bishop did not follow instructions as dictated by his Stake President and other leaders, he needs to be held accountable for that.

    Hmm, didn't meet your stereotype, did I?

  • teleste Provo, UT
    Nov. 15, 2011 11:35 p.m.

    Cue all the liberals blaming religion, Mormonism, and George Bush for this incident in 3, 2, 1...

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Nov. 15, 2011 10:03 p.m.

    Report the allegations, it is in the handbook Bishop.