Sex Abuse Allegations Leveled Against Former President of Mormon Missionary Training Center

The former president of the Mormon Church’s Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah faces allegations that he sexually assaulted a young woman in 1984. The sexual abuse allegedly occurred during the training program at the LDS facility.

The woman accuses Joseph L. Bishop of attempting to rape her when she was serving as a young missionary in 1984, according to her statements to the media. She said she reported the assault to the leaders of the Pleasant Grove West Stake in 2010.

Last December, Bishop admitted only that he took a young woman into a small room at the Provo campus in 1984 and asked to see her breasts, according to a report released by Brigham Young police.

The story is in the news now because MormonLeaks published an explosive, three-hour long, taped conversation between the woman and Bishop. The woman said she did not give the tape to MormonLeaks, but had given it to several people in the past and that one of them gave it to MormonLeaks without her consent.

The woman had recorded the conversation with Bishop last December. In November, the woman had told BYU police that she wanted to talk to Bishop before she gave a detailed report of her sexual assault at the Missionary Training Center in 1984. So she visited Bishop in Arizona, posing as a writer who was interviewing former mission presidents.

During the December conversation, the woman details how Bishop allegedly ripped her clothes and tried to rape her. She also presses him to confess to other misconduct. Bishop, now 85, told the woman that he didn’t remember taking her into the room, let alone sexually assaulting her. But he repeatedly apologized, describing himself as a predator and confessing to other sexual misconduct — disclosures that have ignited outrage online and questions about whether the Mormon church failed to protect women.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, “Bishop was the president of Weber State College (now University) in the 1970s, a Mormon mission president in Argentina from 1979 to 1982 and president of the missionary compound until 1986, supervising thousands of young male and female missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

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