Charges dismissed against Mormon bishop accused of not reporting sex abuse

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  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 14, 2012 6:08 a.m.

    Re: Doctor Tucson, AZ
    "He didn't steal a candy bar."

    Oh, I don't know. The Bishop claimed he was innocent and the prosecutor dropped the case didn't it? That would suggest to me that he was vindicated.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    May 12, 2012 7:00 p.m.

    I think the guidance for future bishops is clear. Call the cops *every time* anything that *might* be criminal occurs.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    May 12, 2012 3:40 p.m.

    He didn't steal a candy bar. By his own admission he told her not to go to the police and did not report the abuse. By law Bishops are required to report abuse when reported to them. His privilege is when the perpetrator "confesses" to him. Then he must maintain confidentiality. The law was enacted because well meaning clergy, school officials, etc were not reporting and other children were becoming victims. Reminds me of the posts about the seminary principal.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    May 12, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    Sometimes there is more to the story than is printed. This sounds like one of those cases. In any regard, legislatures want to find and get help for vicitms more than they want to prosecute offenders. It is an awful balancing act but if one is forced into that kind of Faustianesque bargain then it should be to help vicitms first. The more numerous opportunistic offender is more likey to confess over time. The higher profile paedophile's are less nemerous. Still, it is an awful decision to have to make - that is whether to prosecute or not.

  • scojos Draper, UT
    May 12, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    The bishop admitted sympathy for the alleged abuser, For Pete's Sake, aka Romoney. He admitted making a mistake in not telling his Church about the abuse, but didn't admit his failure to report it to the police. It doesn't matter if the police already knew. That is not his call. If the father had reported this incident to the child's principal,school counselor or a child protective agency and they all had expressed sympathy for the alleged abuser every last one of them would have been charged, fired and disgraced in their community. Why not this Mormon bishop ??

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 11, 2012 11:15 p.m.

    This is the right decision. The bishop meant no harm, neither did he do any harm. At worst it is a technical violation of the law.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 11, 2012 3:10 p.m.

    Re: OneAmerican Idaho Falls, ID
    "So why are there so many people behind barbed wire fences in Draper who also "accepted responsibility" for what THEY did wrong?"

    Name on single convict who is serving time for a first offense involving stealing a candy bar and I'll buy into your argument. As this Bishop's attorney point out this Bishop was at least the sixth person down the line to know about the abuse before police were contacted. Why then was he the ONLY one charged with a crime?

  • OneAmerican Idaho Falls, ID
    May 11, 2012 2:15 p.m.

    "We didn't dismiss the charges because he didn't do anything wrong. We dismissed the charges because he accepted responsibility for what he did wrong," Foote said. "That's why the charges went away."

    So why are there so many people behind barbed wire fences in Draper who also "accepted responsibility" for what THEY did wrong? If all one needs to do is "accept responsibility" to get charges dropped, why are they NOT dropped in more cases? I would NOT want charges to be dropped just because someone "accepts responsibility" because part of accepting that responsibility is to be subject to what the law requires. I doubt I could rob a bank, and then a week or a month later give the money back, say I was wrong, and I'm sorry, and then not be charged with robbing the bank, DESPITE having accepted responsibility and returning the money. That is NOT how the justice system works. My instinct is that charges should have never been brought against the bishop in this case as the real reason and that Foote's covering his tracks (no pun intended). Foote's "accepted responsibility" reasoning will weaken all his future cases.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    May 11, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    I suspect that a lot of members expect their bishops to be a police force. She clearly had an expectation on her bishop in terms of legal consequences against her bishop--and I'm grateful that many LDS bishops help in any way they can see fit, but honestly, why couldn't the parents go directly to the police? Why does a bishop hold more power than the police when legal action is sought? I've seen this sort of behavior among many members who need their bishop to do the smallest acts for them, when they could just do it themselves.

    Certainly doesn't make me want in any way to be a bishop... The job's tough enough, but the expectations we have on them are insane.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2012 12:07 p.m.

    Government gone wild, how about prosecutorial misconduct?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 11, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    The law is supposed to be based on what a reasonable person would do. Since this persecution (no play on words here) was not based on the reasonable person aspect, it should have never seen the time of day. If I was the Bishop, I'd sue the county to pay my legal fees. Also the lovely people that live in the county have a great opportunity to vote the County Atty out of office.

  • Capella Bakersfield, CA
    May 11, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    Everyone who knew and did nothing was guilty.

    Just hope that the Stake President grilled the Bishop really well on where his head was.

    NO excuses for one, just because "everyone else did (or in this case, didn't) do the Right Thing.
    This article did not say what the parents did or did not do. But I agree that going to court was not the right thing to do. Sure would like to know how the bishop responded to the girl's parents.

    There's always more in the "weeds"/details...

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 11, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    Re: topplanta Eagle Mountain, UT
    "Hmmmm, the charges were not dropped against the Hispanic bishop who did essentially the same thing."

    Each case is different, and now two prosecutors or judges ever rule the same on much of anything.

    Why did they jump on the Bishop when he was at least the sixth person to find out about this? Don't parents have some small responsibility to contact the police in a case like this? Since this Bishop works for free I doubt he'll get any raise in salary.

  • runsrealfast POCATELLO, ID
    May 11, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    This is absolutly amazing. So instead of wasting tax payer money on a trial and dealing with sentancing and all that, they are letting him go with public humiliation and saying "look he learned from his mistakes". I'm impressed with the that. Most governements would have wasted a ton of money on useless trials.

  • Gosh-DUH Burlington, CT
    May 11, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    I agree with "A voice of reason".

    However there should be concern about what is happening in Bishop Moon's congregation. from the article: "The prosecutor noted that since he was charged, Moon, who continues to serve as a bishop, has contacted law enforcement to report allegations of abuse brought forward by members of his congregation". Is anyone else concerned that the DN article states that more allegations of abuse have been brought to the bishop since the one that initiated his prosecution?

  • MAYHEM MIKE Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Wise move by the prosecutor. Now, how about paying his substantial legal fees?

  • Rob Logan, UT
    May 11, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    I think it says a lot in this day and age where caution is very important that this Bishop was not released during this. I think this was a witch hunt. It seems to me this was a way for the Prosecution to 'save face'. If this young woman did not say specifics to her Bishop how could he go forward on anything? That Bishop was wise to say to not report anything until he knew more. This is how peoples reputations get ruined.
    I wish the best for this young woman with whatever happened and to the young man to get help if he did something.

  • topplanta Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 11, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    Hmmmm, the charges were not dropped against the Hispanic bishop who did essentially the same thing. I've never heard of charges being dropped because of an admission of guilt. This is a very questionable result and I hope the prosecution appeals. I'm not against Mormon bishops at all. I'm against inconsistent application of the law.

  • bobosmom small town, Nebraska
    May 11, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    I am glad they dropped the charges. Liked previously stated by someone the prosecutor seemed to be over zealous about it. If he was the 6th or something to know about it why,wasn't it reported previously. Should have never been prosecuted. Imz sure him and his family went through a lot of needless anxiety.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 11, 2012 7:21 a.m.

    I think this whole case was ridiculous from the start.....over zealous prosecutor!

  • AmPatriot Taylorsville, UT
    May 11, 2012 6:07 a.m.

    I think also by law the Bishops have the same rights and privilege as lawyers, doctors, and other clergy who become aware of crimes and are not required to report them. Privileged is what it means, there is no crime in preserving the rights of other individuals confiding in trust and honesty. Trust is more valuable in society to preserve the truth than a thousand laws to force violation of trust.

    The law is wrong and invasive and violates right of privacy in families, parents, and children as well as professional services.

    Government does not have rights, they must prove violations and crimes of their own gathered evidence. Testimony is always subjective even if sworn on a bible. That practices is really not worth the paper a bible is written on. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth has no meaning. That is why we have juries to let impartial minds choose fact and fiction presented in trials. Testimony and eye witness is too variable and is the least reliable evidence that some are too willing to put above facts.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 11, 2012 5:57 a.m.

    If clergy were automatically forced to become an extension of law enforcement, it would have a chilling effect on those who are willing to discuss their issues with their Bishops. It would also likely have the same effect on those who are willing to serve in such positions.

    Agree or disagree with this particular Bishops judgement call here, there was a much larger precedent in play. The state ultimately did the right thing in this case.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 11, 2012 5:44 a.m.

    The Bishop's attorney "pointed out that his client was at least the sixth person to know about the abuse before police were contacted, but he was the only person charged with a crime."

    Why didn't the girl, her mother, or her father report the abuse to police?

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    May 10, 2012 11:10 p.m.

    ""Based upon his performance now, as well as his willingness to accept responsibility for what he did in the past, we believed it was a good point to end this prosecution," Foote said."

    That is how law should work! While I don't believe the bishop did anything so wrong that the law had any place being involved anyway- BUT, our legal system is almost always (and wrongfully) one of retribution. It should be about 'bringing people back to where they should be'. If a man stole a candie bar, and we tried him 5 years later- AND the guy paid it back, lives uprightly, and now preaches to the world about how stealing is wrong- then justice has no need to hold the man accountable anymore. It is our responsibility to forgive and when people fix the problem- we aren't helping by wanting retribution.

    Basically, I'm saying that 1) I don't think the Bishop was wrong and I personally wouldn't want something reported if it were me. I believe bishops most often help to protect victims more than the state anyway. 2) That in either circumstance or opinion- the judge's rational was exemplary!