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Judge Denies Venue Change for Mormon Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

A federal judge has denied a request by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to move a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse in a church-run Navajo foster program out of a tribal court.

A federal judge has denied a request by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to move a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse in a church-run Navajo foster program out of a tribal court.

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been sexually abused, molested or otherwise harmed by a member of the Mormon Church or Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.

What’s the problem?

November 18, 2016 – U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby ruled Wednesday that the LDS has failed to prove that Navajo courts must be blocked from considering the lawsuit, which was filed by a brother and sister who claim they were abused in the Mormon Church’s “Indian Placement Program” in Utah decades ago.

The complaint alleges that the brother, “RJ,” suffered abuses including fondling, sexual molestation and rape during his time in the program. He was first placed in an LDS home in Oak City, Utah, in 1978 at the age of 10, where he was molested by his stepbrother. RJ was subsequently removed from the home and placed with another family in Utah, where he was molested yet again by his foster-brother. He claims to have reported the abuse to the church, but was sent back to live in the same home where the alleged crimes took place.

The sister plaintiff, “MM,” was placed in an LDS home in Utah in 1976, where she was allegedly raped by a friend of her 40-year-old stepbrother. Then in 1983, after being placed in another foster home, MM claims she was again sexually molested, this time by her foster-father.

LDS argues the lawsuit should be relocated to U.S District Court in Salt Lake City because the alleged abuse didn’t occur on tribal land. Plaintiffs and the Navajo Nation say decisions about where to put children did occur on tribal land, and the case should remain there to respect the tribe’s sovereign rights.

Do I have a Mormon 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 mormon abuse lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was sexually abused, molested or otherwise harmed by a member of the Mormon Church or FLDS, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

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