Jehovah’s Witnesses Sexual Abuse Case Goes to Trial

As a teenager, Stephanie Fessler was an active member of her local Jehovah Witnesses congregation.  That’s when she met Terry J. Monheim, an adult member of the church who befriended the then 14-year-old teen. According to court records, Fessler had met Monheim when she became friends with her children in 2002 or 2003. Monheim started […]

Jehovah Witnesses Charity Ends Legal Dispute Over Sex Abuse Inquiry

After more than two years of legal wrangling, obfuscation, and a stubborn refusal to cooperate with an investigation launched by the United Kingdom’s Charity Commission, the Jehovah Witnesses has dropped its attempts to fight the inquiry. The Charity Commission launched an inquiry into safe practices at the organization’s main UK outlet in May 2014, after […]

Jehovah’s Witnesses Release New Guidelines for Child Abuse Reporting

The Jehovah’s Witnesses issued new guidelines for dealing with reporting child abuse allegations. The new directive, dated August 1, 2016, replaces the previous directive from October 1, 2012. The six-page document is called “Protecting Minors from Abuse” but is clearly intended to protect the church from bad publicity and sexual abuse lawsuits. It provides guidelines […]

Jehovah’s Witnesses Face Sanctions for Withholding Documents in Sex Abuse Case

A San Diego Superior Court judge ordered the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, to pay $4,000 a day in fines as long as it refuses to produce documents in a sexual abuse case brought by former church member Osbaldo Padron. Padron’s lawyers had asked Judge […]

How the Jehovah’s Witnesses Handle Claims of Sexual Abuse

As a sexual abuse lawyer, I’ve witnessed how institutions of public trust handle allegations of sexual abuse. While the institutions’ doctrines differ, their manner of dealing with such claims is sadly similar. Like the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church, it looks like the Jehovah’s Witnesses have a systematized manner of handling these […]

Australia’s Royal Commission Investigates Sex Abuse in Jehovah’s Witnesses

When the Australian government formed a task force to investigate child sex abuse among religious organizations, the commission’s main focus was the Catholic Church. But the Australian government gave the commission broad powers to investigate any organization suspected of child sex abuse. When the commission investigated the Jehovah’s Witnesses, it found a pattern of sexual […]

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