Update: Jehovah’s Witnesses Ordered to Pay $35 Million in Montana Sex Abuse Suit
September 28, 2018 – A Montana jury has ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses to pay $35 million to a woman who claimed the church covered up her abuse for years. A judge must still review the jury’s ruling, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ national organization — Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York — announced plans to appeal the verdict shortly after it was rendered.
Jehovah’s Witnesses and child sex abuse
As with other religious organizations, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been obliged in recent years to develop child protection policies to deal with cases of sexual abuse & molestation in their congregations. Much like the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses create an isolated community of followers that have little contact with non-members. They insist on dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse within the organization, covering it up from public view and allowing abusers to continue destroying people’s lives.
A string of lawsuits accuses Jehovah Witnesses of repeatedly covering up cases of child molestation. The plaintiffs say that not only were they sexually abused by church elders, but that other church officials knew about the abuse and refused to take the necessary steps to report it, instead allowing sexual predators to retain positions of power in the congregation. The alleged abuses span 27 years, from 1970 to 1997.
The allegations against the Jehovah’s Witnesses are different from the Catholic Church in several ways. For one thing, with just 1 million members nationwide, there are far fewer Jehovah’s Witnesses than the 60 million-member Catholic Church. For another, with its door-to-door conversion policy, a sexual predator who is a Jehovah’s Witness has more contact with the public at large.
Sex Abuse Recovery Process
Sex abuse survivors must work through incredibly complex emotions as they take back their emotional and spiritual power from the perpetrators who abused them. This process often takes years. While lawsuits are not for everyone, holding sexual abusers and institutions legally accountable can be an important piece of the healing process.
Do I have a Jehovah’s Witness Sex Abuse Lawsuit?
The Sexual Abuse Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Jehovah’s Witness sexual abuse & molestation lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Jehovah’s Witness Sexual Abuse Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been abused, molested, or otherwise harmed by a Jehovah’s Witness church clergy member, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.