West Virginia Court Ruling a Huge Victory for Mormon Abuse Victims

The West Virginia Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling allowing victims of Mormon sexual abuse to continue their fight for justice in court. The lawsuit alleges that high ranking Mormon officials covered up for a serial sexual predator in sexual abuse cases involving multiple states.

The ruling stated that there was evidence that high-ranking Mormon officials covered up for a sexually violent predator for years, allowing him to molest children in Utah and West Virginia.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Berkeley County, West Virginia, Mormon officials knew that a now-convicted sexually violent predator, Michael Jensen, had been convicted of sex offenses in Utah in 2005, allegedly molested his sister, and posed a risk to children. Despite this knowledge, the Church still promoted him and recommended him as a babysitter to families and as a boarder in their homes.

The court also allowed evidence that actions taken by the Mormon Church, including a sexual abuse helpline, were made with the intention of protecting the Church from lawsuits, instead of preventing more abuse.

The West Virginia Supreme Court’s 78-page opinion outlines Jensen’s trail of abuse from 2004 to 2012, including a juvenile conviction for sexual abuse in 2005 in Utah, and allegations of abuse against his sisters and others after he moved to West Virginia.

While investigating Jensen’s activities, the nine victims in this civil case found evidence that Jensen not only had a long history of sexually abusing minors, but also that Mormon Church officials were aware of his behavior and covered it up, allowing him to continue to abuse children.

The Supreme Court’s ruling means that a jury will decide the thruth of the evidence about Jensen and the Mormon Church. That is how our system of justice is supposed to work. This is a victory for all survivors of abuse who suffered because a church refused to do the right thing

Dumas Law Group has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, California, and other states.

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