CHILD MOLESTATION and SEXUAL ABUSE
PAGE 1 OF 8
PAGE 2 PAGE 3 PAGE 4 PAGE 5 PAGE 6 PAGE 7 PAGE 8
Starting back around 2001, numerous charges of CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
or CHILD MOLESTATION
occurring within the international Jehovah's Witnesses religious community
have been published in newspapers and broadcast on television
and radio stations around the world. The term "Jehovah's Witness"
is quickly becoming synonymous with the term "Child Molester"
In 2014, one British newspaper reported that just in the previous four years, 25 Jehovah's Witness Ministers had been convicted of child molestation related charges just in Great Britain -- where the number of Jehovah's Witnesses is relatively small. (See page 7 of this section for British court cases.) In 2015, in Australia, which has an even smaller JW community than does Great Britain, the WatchTower Society turned over to Government "child sexual abuse" investigators 5000 files detailing incidents of child molestation committed by more than 1000 Australian Jehovah's Witnesses -- none of which had been reported to the authorities by the WatchTower Society. (See page 8 of this section for Australia court cases.)
Despite the fact that the WatchTower Society publicly preaches that it has done MORE than any other religious organization in the world to address child sexual abuse within its own ranks, one Australian Law Professor who is a sex crimes expert declared that the WatchTower Society has emerged as the religious group which is the LEAST able or willing to deal with child sexual abuse within its own ranks.
Child Abuse Reporting and the Clergy Privilege
When Does the Clergy-Penitent Privilege Exempt Reporting Child Abuse?
In August 2020, Detective Constable Philip Endsor of UK's West Midlands Police Department, who was the lead officer in the investigation, prosecution, and conviction of Jehovah's Witness Elder Clifford James Whitely for his repeated sexual molestation of his step-daughter, publicly stated (edited):
"It was extremely frustrating dealing with the elders from the [Birmingham, Kings Norton Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses], ... I find it difficult to comprehend that they were willing to potentially jeopardise the prosecution of a paedophile by withholding evidence from the investigation. There seemed to be no comprehension of the distress that this caused to the victim and her family, no concern that their inaction could potentially have a negative impact on justice being delivered, and it is clear that the elders' sense of 'ecclesiastical duty of confidence' and duty to [their organisation] and each other far outweighed their sense of responsibility to the safeguarding of children. It is also clear that this was not just an issue within a local [Jehovah's Witnesses] congregation as the stance of the elders was supported and defended by the Watch Tower [Society's] Legal Department. As a result, I have no confidence that in the future [that the Birmingham, Kings Norton Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses] would act any differently, or indeed that other historic offenses which may have been disclosed to them have been [brought to the] attention of the authorities."
Jehovah's Witnesses evidently have as many, if not more, sexual predators in their insular religious community as does any other religious or social group in the world. Over the decades, Jehovah's Witnesses have been anecdotally labeled as "the most sexually repressed group of people on planet Earth". That attribution has caused some people to think that Jehovah's Witnesses are less likely to commit sex crimes than other members of the general population. Growing evidence seems to point to the exact opposite. Often, repressed sexuality is released on easy targets -- children, whether they be family members or otherwise accessible to the perpetrator.
After reading/browsing the summarized child molestation cases on our SEVEN webpages, persons who are further interested in the specific issue of Jehovah's Witness Child Molestation should visit the SILENTLAMBS.ORG website, which is devoted exclusively to the issue of sexual crimes committed against children by members of the Jehovah's Witnesses community. The owner/operator of that website has been featured in multiple international news reports and documentaries broadcast on nearly every major television network over the past 15 years. He is a former Jehovah's Witness Elder who labels the Jehovah's Witness religious community as a "Pedophile's Paradise". There is no point in our trying to duplicate what that website already does well. However, we will post on these eight webpages those JW court cases which other related websites have overlooked; those pre-2001 court cases which occurred before other websites existed; and those post-2001 cases for which we possess additional details/insights.
WATCHTOWER CULT-URE PROMOTING A CULTURE OF PEDOPHILIA ???
In 1970-71, a "worldly" sociologist attended meetings for several months at a handful of different urban Kingdom Halls of Jehovah's Witnesses. Of the many oddities that quickly jumped out to this social scientist was the high percentage of "converts" who were middle aged females, including many divorcees and future divorcees whose husbands objected to their conversion. Such unmarried middle aged females seemed to provide an endless supply of potential wives for the "born in" JW males who were obeying the WatchTower Cult's directions to delay marriage until their 30s, so that they could pioneer, volunteer for Bethel or Gilead, or do more work for their congregation, and more rapidly advance to Ministerial Servant and Elder, etc.
However, this sociologist also quickly noted the significant age disparities amongst recently married JW couples and recently engaged JW couples. It appeared that the endless pool of female converts in their 30s-40s almost exclusively was being "cherry-picked" by JW leaders who were widowers in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s. This sociologist was alarmed to see that the younger JW leaders who had delayed getting married until their late 20s and early 30s were marrying "girls" 10-15 years younger than themselves -- some barely out of high school. In fact, the very first "Servant" whom took the sociologist under his wing during the social scientist's very first visit, was engaged to a "girl" fifteen years younger than the "Servant". The inquisitive sociologist could not resist questioning the "Servant" about the age disparity. "Servant" did not even recognize the "oddity" -- explaining that such age disparity was "typical" amongst Jehovah's Witnesses Couples.
This editor particularly recalls from the 1970s a wealthy Los Angeles Jewish family who were quite proud of supporting a son whom the WatchTower Society had sent to special pioneer in the southern Appalachian mountains. That son was quite handsome -- having occasionally even modeled clothing for one California clothing importer -- and was quite intelligent. Son undoubtedly forewent many business opportunities in California to serve this Jewish family's WatchTower Cult master. After about 6-8 years in his assignment, by then early 30s Son informed his wealthy JW-Jewish parents that he was going to get married sometime in the following year. Why the lengthy delay? The newly engaged couple had to wait for the girl to turn eighteen.
2022 NOTICE: In 2021, we received offers from two ex-wives of two convicted and imprisoned JW Husbands found on this very webpage to provide us additional juicy "undocumented" material relating to their two JW Husbands' seductions of teenage girls. In one case, the JW wife had stayed married to her JW Husband for 5 years after he had committed fornication with a seduced non-JW teenage girl. In the second case, the wife had stayed married for 20 years after her husband had seduced MULTIPLE teenage daughters of their fellow Jehovah's Witnesses. WE IGNORED BOTH OFFERS. "Accessories-after-the-fact" have no credibility -- especially when they now want to publicly disclose "undocumented" info.
Readers should note that amongst the first cases on each of the pages of this 8-page MOLESTATION section are criminal cases which involve criminal defendants who were currently or formerly WATCHTOWER BETHELITES, GILEAD MISSIONARIES, or are/were otherwise PROMINENT Jehovah's Witnesses.
GEORGIA v. JAMES HARRIS STEEL is an ongoing CHILD MOLESTATION prosecution of a highly celebrated Jehovah's Witness HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER. In November 2022, Jim Steel, age 69, was indicted on one count of SEXUAL BATTERY AGAINST A CHILD UNDER 16, which allegedly occurred at Harris County High School, in Hamilton, Georgia. The alleged victim was a female under age 16, who claimed that Harris had inappropriately touched her on her inner thigh sometime during Spring 2022. This pending case has been set for trial in October 2023.
James H. Harris first began teaching "construction" at Lee County High School back around 2006. Jim Harris later went to Crisp County High School, and in 2018, began teaching at Harris County High School. On May 9, 2022, the Hamilton Police Department asked the GBI to investigate allegations that Steel had had inappropriate physical contact with multiple students. James Harris's resume includes being a member of the WatchTower Society's Regional Building Committee in Georgia.
SPRINGFIELD MASSACHUSETTS CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES APPOINTS
"HIGH RISK" REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER-RAPIST AS "MINISTERIAL SERVANT (Deacon).
SEXUALLY ASSAULTS 13 YEAR OLD JW GIRL.
GEORGIA v. JAY AARON SMITH (1987) and MASSACHUSETTS v. JAY AARON SMITH (2023). In 1987, African-American Jay Aaron Smith (b 1961), aka Jay A. Smith, aka Jay Smith, then of Atlanta, Georgia, was convicted of ARMED ROBBERY, three SODOMY CHARGES, and RAPE, and served 20 years in prison.
Apparently properly registered in Massachusetts as a HIGH RISK re-offender, one of the Springfield, Massachusetts Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses appointed this piece of garbage as a Ministerial Servant. In 2023, Aaron Smith was convicted of repeatedly assaulting a 13 year old female in 2020-21, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, where he likely will pioneer and recruit more child molesters to the "pedophile's paradise".
SOUTHEASTERN KENTUCKY HIDEOUTS
KENTUCKY v. DARYL RAY LOWERY was a 2016-17 criminal conviction for FIRST DEGREE SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR. Daryl R. Lowery, aka Daryl Lowery, aka Darryl Ray Lowery, aka Darryl R. Lowery, aka Darryl Lowery, Daryll Ray Lowery, Daryll R. Lowery, Daryll Lowery. DOB: 1954. Prison term: 5 years. Paroled November 2020. Supervised thru 11/2025. Victim was 11 years old, and allegedly was family member -- possibly grandchild. Registered Sex Offender. "Moderate" re-offender rating. Perp and Wife (plus three daughters and son) have been Jehovah's Witnesses from 1980s, or earlier, at Mount Vernon, Kentucky Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Perp was white-collar employed for decades in Lexington - Fayette County, yet maintained residence two counties away in Rockcastle County.
The Mount Vernon, Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses has a decades-old reputation for successfully hiding multiple JW Sex Offenders from as far away as California. Congregations in surrounding and nearby counties are nearly as bad. See below and elsewhere in this section. Southeastern Kentucky appears to be a WatchTower HQ relocation hotspot for known problem JWs.
Tipster reports that around 1997-98, shortly after having relocated to where "the great were needed", in Mount Vernon, Kentucky, he was approached outside his home in a very hush-hush manner by local Jehovah's Witness Elder Gary Kerr. Gary Kerr asked if Tipster would be willing to allow a "brother" from another state to stay with Tipster and his Wife in their home for two weeks to maybe a month. Tipster immediately assumed that this "brother" was a "Special Pioneer" being sent by the Society to help the rural congregation with its backlogged preaching work. Kerr answered none of Tipster's followup questions, but instead repeated his original inquiry as to whether Tipster would be willing to allow a "brother" from another state to stay with Tipster and his Wife in their childless home for two weeks to a month. Tipster quickly said "Yes" based on his initial assumption, but conditioned such on answers to the obvious unanswered questions. Gary Kerr related that he needed to relay Tipster's conditional affirmation and consult with others, and that he would get back to Tipster if Tipster's help was still wanted.
Two days later, Tipster received a telephone call from Gary Kerr inviting Tipster to a dinner that very evening at a cheap steakhouse located 25 miles away in Somerset, Kentucky. Kerr asked Tipster if Tipster would drive them to Somerset. Tipster agreed. Tipster assumed the out-of-county trip had something to do with Kerr's still pending request, but Kerr had not indicated such. Tipster further assumed that the free steak dinner was intended to ingratiate Tipster to Kerr.
That night, Tipster already had decided to allow Gary Kerr to bring up the pending issue in Kerr's own good time and manner. However, Gary Kerr talked about everything but his pending request during the 40 minute drive to the restaurant. A waitress quickly took their order, soon after which a man approached their table, and began talking to Gary Kerr as if they were well acquainted. Kerr invited the man to join Tipster and Kerr. Tipster quickly understood that the man was a JW, but Tipster did not understand that this man was the person whom Gary Kerr wanted Tipster to house for two to four weeks. Not understanding that the planned and probably rehearsed conversation between Gary Kerr and the JW Stranger were for Tipster's benefit, Tipster quickly felt like a "third wheel", and mentally tuned out much of Kerr's and the JW Stranger's sketchy conversation.
As the highly annoyed Tipster and Gary Kerr began their 40 minute drive home, Kerr became disgruntled when he discovered that Tipster had not understood what had just occurred, and that as a "third wheel", Tipster had not paid close attention to the conversation between the two JW Elders. The foolish Gary Kerr should have immediately realized that he already had killed any possibility that Tipster would invite JW Stranger into his home. Instead, the foolish Gary Kerr continued to provide Tipster with all the "negatives" that Kerr intentionally had kept secret from Tipster until their drive home.
The foolish Gary Kerr proceeded to disclose to Tipster that JW Stranger was on the run and hiding from Florida law enforcement, whom were investigating JW Stranger for sexually molesting one or more of his own children. Of course, such accusations made by JW Stranger's wife were all untrue, and part of the "persecution" that all JWs expect to receive from "Caesar", especially JW Elders.
Tipster has forgotten much of that conversation, but recalls that JW Stranger had some sort of previous relationship with the Somerset, Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, and/or it's Elders, and that it was they who were in charge of arranging hideouts for JW Stranger in adjacent and nearby counties. They also had been arranging for JW Stranger to work for various southeastern Kentucky JWs so that JW Stranger had financial income during his escape spree from Florida. Gary Kerr admitted to having provided JW Stranger with scattered employment through Gary Kerr's HVAC business. Tipster refused to involve himself and his wife with such ILLEGAL activities, and typically quickly paid the price.
KENTUCKY v. DONOVAN JAMES MOORE was a 2015-16 Kentucky criminal court case in which an African-American Jehovah's Witness named Donovan J. Moore, age 53, of Lexington, Kentucky, originally was indicted on four counts of third-degree rape and four counts of third-degree sodomy for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse and sodomy with his ex-wife in 1997 and 1998, when she was only 15 years-old, and when Donovan Moore was 35 years old. Donovan James Moore and Abra Moore eventually married in 2002, had one daughter and one son, but divorced on December 28, 2011. See ABRA MOORE v. DONOVAN MOORE.
KENTUCKY v. DONOVAN JAMES MOORE. Donovan Moore remarried in January 2012. In September 2012, Donovan James Moore was arrested for Flagrant Non-support. Outcome unknown.
At the time of the alleged sexual assaults, Donovan Moore and his ex-wife were both members of the Stanford Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Commonwealth Attorney, Eddy F. Montgomery, stated at the November 2015 pre-trial conference that, "... the church was aware of it and basically covered it up, similar to the Catholic church deal. Then the victim ended up getting married to this gentleman and having children with him. ... Basically the church told her not to report this and kept it in house. The analogy I've made would be the Catholic church sex abuse cases ... ."
See also: EEOC v. THE ADVOCATE MESSENGER (2001).
NOT ALL CHILD MOLESTERS ARE MEN
My Jehovah's Witness Relatives have long maintained a certain degree of prestige within the local Jehovah's Witness community due to my family's JW Matriarch having professed to be "one of the anointed remnant", or, "one of the 144,000", since that distinction in the JW ranks was made by the WatchTower Society back in the 1930s.
Although "Anointed JW Matriarch" never worked outside the home, she also was well-known, or infamous, throughout the local non-JW community as a multi-decades long preacher of the WatchTower Society's "gospel". Anointed JW Matriarch was a "child" of the "Judge Rutherford" era of the WatchTower Society. She was arrested in the 1940s for preaching the WatchTower Society's "gospel" when other JWs also were being arrested. In the early 1950s, for approximately a year and a half (amusingly during the exact same time that Firstborn Son was being drafted into the U.S. Army Anointed JW Matriarch had a monthly pro-WatchTower column published in the local newspaper, which brought her even more notoriety amongst Local non-JWs. In 1958, Anointed JW Matriarch was amongst the record-setting attendees at the WatchTower Society's much heralded International Convention held in Yankee Stadium.
Anointed JW Matriarch reared three sons and two daughters, and sadly, many of her grandchildren -- for various reasons, including lack of parenting skills and lack of maternal and paternal instinct on the part of Anointed JW Matriarch's own children. Despite the fact that it was known that Anointed JW Matriarch liked her sons better than her daughters, only her two daughters became and remained JWs.
Both JW Daughters have repeatedly professed that they each look forward to living in the WatchTower's promised earthly paradise -- which they both believe will be co-ruled by their own Mother. Although the two daughters were reared as third-generation Jehovah's Witnesses during the far less morally corrupt 1940s-50s, Youngest Daughter became pregnant out-of-wedlock when she was only 16 years-old, in 1959. After a disastrous marriage and divorce from first Baby-Daddy, Youngest Daughter found her second non-JW husband by breaking up his first marriage. Youngest Daughter did not get baptized until 1973 -- just before Armageddon occurred in October 1975. In the early 1960s, baptized Oldest Daughter did manage to graduate from college before then stupidly marrying a JW Immigrant whom she met at a NYC WatchTower Convention, but that incompatible marriage lasted only briefly. Oldest Daughter shortly thereafter began an affair with an elderly, married non-JW work supervisor, and she was eventually disfellowshiped after the local Body of Elders finally discovered that both Oldest Daughter and Anointed JW Matriarch had kept that first adulterous affair hidden from the congregation. Oldest Daughter thereafter began a relationship with and eventually married another much older non-JW.
Although all of JW Matriarch's grandchildren from children #2 through #5 sporadically attended the Kingdom Hall during their formative years, only three of Anointed JW Matriarch's multiple grandchildren ever became JWs, but none of the three are JWs now. None of Anointed JW Matriarch's great-grandchildren nor great-great-grandchildren ever became JWs.
Although known to be Anointed JW Matriarch's "favorite" child, her firstborn Son totally rejected not only his JW Mother's WatchTower faith, but even faith in God and the Bible. After graduating high school and attempting college in the early 1950s, Firstborn Son was drafted into the military, and volunteered as an airborne paratrooper. Afterwards, in the 1960s, Firstborn Son eventually settled his family about two hours drive from his JW Mother and siblings. However, over the following decades, Firstborn Son visited his JW Mother only infrequently, and then, only briefly.
The remainder of Anointed JW Matriarch's children married and lived locally. Anointed JW Matriarch's second oldest child, "Second Son", also never became a JW, although he occasionally attended meetings into his early 30s. Second Son earned a public reputation for sexual promiscuity during his teen years (1950s), and thereafter even into his senior years. Second Son gradually developed into a psycho-sociopath. Amongst many others, he was known to have propositioned his own mother-in-law early in his marriage, and later in life, he even propositioned at least two of his own daughters-in-law. Second Son was also believed to have occasionally engaged in sexual contact with both animals and other males during his adult years.
Third Son also completely rejected his mother's WatchTower faith until the WatchTower Society forecast Armageddon for October 1975. Third Son and his non-JW wife joined the Cult around 1973, but quickly became inactive as soon as it was apparent that 1975 was just another WatchTower false alarm. Third Son was eventually disfellowshipped after several years of inactivity -- for "adultery" Overall, now deceased Third Son was even more "messed up" than was Second Son.
One day, about 12+ years after the death of "Anointed JW Matriarch", one of JW Matriarch's many grandsons mistakingly thought it time to reveal something that had long haunted him. Grandson revealed to Anointed JW Matriarch's Oldest Daughter -- by then a JW Pioneer -- that he had once been propositioned by Anointed JW Matriarch when he was a child.
Grandson related that when he was about 11 years old, he had spent the night at his grandparents' house. Sometime after everyone had gone to bed, and after he had fallen asleep, he was awakened and surprised by Anointed JW Matriarch crawling into bed with him. Anointed JW Matriarch, who reeked of wine, and who was dressed only in a bra and panties, snuggled up to him, and began relating an incident of fornication she had committed in her younger years. Grandson ignored Anointed JW Matriarch as much as possible, turned over and away from her, and pretended to go back to sleep. Drunken Anointed JW Matriarch soon fell asleep, and was gone by the morning.
Grandson also revealed to Oldest Daughter something else that he had never revealed to anyone. Even before he was old enough to enter grade school, he had begun to have the same nightmare that repeated itself until he was 8 or 9 years old. Even as a youngster, Grandson could never remember what about the nightmare so scared him, but only that "it" always occurred in his grandparents' bed.
JW Pioneer Oldest Daughter glared silently at Grandson as he revealed these "secrets". When he had finished, JW Pioneer Oldest Daughter proceeded to denounce Grandson as a "liar", and quickly departed in a "huff" -- never to raise the issue again, even after she did eventually start speaking to him again.
Grandson gradually repeated his "secrets" to some of his other non-JW relatives over the years. While not called a "liar" by the non-JWs, neither was there much of a reaction from them -- not even shock nor surprise. Time passed. Then, one day, Grandson not only told his "secrets" to the widow of "Second Son", but expressed his puzzlement as to why noone in the family had much of a reaction, except for JW Daughter's denunciation.
Second Son's Widow then told Grandson something that she had been keeping a secret since Second Son's death. Widow related that shortly before Second Son's gradual death, he revealed to her that his Mother, Anointed JW Matriarch, had regularly sexually molested him when he was a youngster. The molestation had even included full intercourse, which continued until Second Son reached puberty. A clue had always been there. Anointed JW Matriarch's lifelong "pet name" for Second Son had been, "My Little Man".
JEHOVAH'S WITNESS INCEST. In the late 1970s, a family of Jehovah's Witnesses "NEEDGREATERS" moved from southern California to serve with the Mount Vernon, Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Needgreaters are JW families who move to areas where there are few JWs, and the entire family door knocks 20-25 hours per week. Various family members -- parents and children -- thereafter regularly pioneered and regularly auxiliary pioneered for years. In the latter 1980s, the newlywed husband of the last daughter to marry from this JW Needgreater family discovered that his newlywed wife was no novice when it came to sexual matters. She eventually disclosed that she and her father had been regularly having sexual relations for years -- since she was a young teen -- and this allegedly was a family practice that had involved her older sister(s), and was allegedly practiced with the knowledge of the JW Mother. The newlywed JW Husband took this information to the Mount Vernon, Kentucky Body of Elders. Incestuous JW Father, who was then a Ministerial Servant, Literature Servant, and Pioneer, reportedly lost all his "privileges" in the congregation, and was "publicly reproved", but without the reason(s) for such being publicly disclosed to the other members of the congregation. In fact, inquiring members were told that Incestuous JW Father had been co-mingling funds while acting as Literature Servant. Shortly thereafter, Incestuous JW Father and Mother relocated themselves and their residential carpet cleaning business to Corbin, Kentucky -- a small southeastern Kentucky city only 40 miles away. No report was ever made to California nor Kentucky authorities, despite the fact that in succeeding years that multiple JW Elders in neighboring southeastern Kentucky congregations were gradually told of this criminal scenario by Gary Kerr and other Elders at the Mount Vernon, Kentucky Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.
That was not the last time that the Elders at the Mount Vernon, Kentucky Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, not only failed to report the sexual assault of a minor to local and state law enforcement, but intentionally conspired to conceal such from all authorities. In 1998, the JW Wife of one of Elder Gary Kerr's former employees informed Elder Kerr that she had just caught her JW Husband carrying on a sexual affair with the 13 year-old granddaughter of Gary Kerr's elderly, widowed neighbor. JW Wife informed Elder Kerr that she had already contacted Kerr's elderly neighbor about the illegal sexual affair. Assuming that "super elder" Gary Kerr followed WatchTower SOP for such a situation, Kerr would have immediately contacted WatchTower Legal via telephone for instructions, and would have contacted other local JW Elders thereafter. Although having no reason to do so, Elder Gary Kerr then went to the home of his elderly, widowed neighbor, and fully discussed the matter. Only WatchTower Legal and local JW Elders know what Elder Kerr said to his neighbor, but the end result of their meeting was that the victim's GrandMother agreed that she would not report the sexual assault of her 13 year-old Granddaughter to anyone. Super-Elder Gary Kerr's work was not completed. Gary Kerr then met with other JWs to whom JW Wife had spoken about the affair, and counseled them not to speak further about the matter so as to "not bring reproach on Jehovah's name". The entire matter was resolved when Gary Kerr's 13 year-old neighbor was relocated out of town to another relative's home, and JW Husband was eventually "privately reproved" after the local BOE was confident that the matter had been successfully covered up.
KENTUCKY v. DANIEL MUDGE was a 2006-07 Kentucky criminal court case which involved Daniel Scott Mudge, age 25, of Danville, Kentucky, in Boyle County, Kentucky. Given that Daniel S. Mudge is the son of prominent Jehovah's Witness Elder, Donald Mudge, a/k/a Don Mudge, whose status as a Jehovah's Witness Presiding Overseer and Special Pioneer has been featured in multiple media articles in New York as well as Kentucky, including one that indicated that he and his son were "partners" in Super Clean Carpets Inc., it is likely that Dan Mudge was also a JW Elder at the time. Notably, no mention was made of Mudge's status as a Jehovah's Witness Minister in the local media's extremely abbreviated coverage of this criminal matter. (A now-retired prominent local JW Elder may still have been employed at the time by the entity that reports/controls news for that area.) In June 2006, the married-with-child Daniel Mudge traveled to an adjacent county to meet a 15 year-old female for sex. Mudge was highly disappointed when he was met by law enforcement officers, who informed him that he had been communicating via computer with a police sting operation. In January 2007, Mudge pleaded guilty to charges of criminal attempt to unlawfully transact with a minor under 16, and distribution of obscene matter to a minor (certain photos of himself). Mudge was sentenced to five years in prison, but did not serve the entire sentence. Notably, Dan Mudge had served only one day in local jail prior to prison sentencing, which indicates that someone hurried to bail him out of jail when he was initially arrested.
KENTUCKY v. GEORGE VERNON was a 1992-93 Kentucky criminal court case involving a Jehovah's Witness Elder or MS named George Vernon, of the London, Kentucky Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, in Laurel County, Kentucky. In the late 1980s, George Vernon befriended the three children (two boys and a girl) of a single JW Mother (an elementary schoolteacher) in the London congregation, supposedly due to there being no fatherly presence. At some point thereafter, one or more of the children told the JW Mother that Vernon was touching them inappropriately. The JW Mother reported this to the local Elders, but Vernon denied such. When the Elders told JW Mother that Vernon had denied such, and no more could be done, JW Mother mentioned reporting such to the local police. However, the Elders warned JW Mother that she could be disfellowshipped (excommunicated) for defaming Vernon. Thereafter, JW Mother and family were allegedly "marked" and shunned within the congregation. Much later, the "touching" was reported to a school authority by one of the children. The school dutifully reported the matter to the police, who investigated and charged Vernon. The local Prosecutor thought that he had a slam-dunk case. That was, until the trial. The Prosecutor got little if any cooperation from anyone other than the victims and their mother. Each session, the seats behind Vernon were packed with local JWs supporting him; with the seats behind the victims being nearly empty. Vernon was ultimately convicted on a lesser charge that resulted in only one year in county jail. Afterwards, the Prosecutor naively sent a futile letter to the WatchTower Society outlining the injustices at the hands of the local JWs that had occurred during the investigation and prosecution, along with his disgust.
KENTUCKY v. THOMAS DEWAYNE STRATTON was a 2010-11 Kentucky criminal court case. Thomas D. Stratton, age 37, of the Harrodsburg, Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses was indicted by a Mercer County Grand Jury, in November 2010, on the charge of first-degree sexual abuse, for allegedly subjecting a girl under the age of 12 to sexual contact, between January and June of 2010 (rumored to have been Stratton's step-daughter). In July 2011, in what was probably a plea deal, Thomas Stratton was sentenced to four years in prison on the amended charge of second-degree unlawful transaction with a minor. Apparently, noone had bailed Stratton out of county jail given that he received credit for 266 days served.
Does anyone remember the supposedly "non-practicing" Homosexual Jehovah's Witness Male, then in his 40s, who was a member of the Richmond, Kentucky Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses from the 1960s through the 1990s? Homo JW Male taught "art" either at local area high schools or at Eastern Kentucky University -- maybe both at various points. Around 1970, Homo JW Male got into some type of trouble with the Richmond congregation after he started hosting sleepovers for the three teenage sons of a divorced JW Mother. That family (possibly "Dotson" or "Dodson") quickly moved away, while Homo JW Male was "privately" counseled. The Congregation Overseer, Ralph Moore, now of Elkhart, Indiana, never warned other parents or children inside the congregation of any particular "danger", but the aforementioned Mother and Sons (Randy, etc.) did so prior to fleeing Richmond. Does anyone remember the full names of any of these parties, or whatever happened to them???
Letter To The Editor
The Steamboat Pilot
December 3, 1987
Dear Editor: I thought I'd finally feel better after the trial, but I don't. I laid awake every night since the trial trying to sort out my feelings. Who's the victim? Or, maybe I should make that plural -- who are the victims? My niece, of course, is the biggest victim of all. She has been subjected to the actual incest itself. I cried so many tears thinking of her pain, but most of all how alone she must have felt not being able to tell anyone. I love her so much, and I still feel some guilt for not picking up on the small hints she gave out, or the physical signs that I saw on occasion when she spent weekends with my husband and me. All of the small questions that crept in and then out of my mind at the time now seem so clearly overt in retrospect. I think of my sister who had to be told by the doctor that her daughter had been molested. The one who had to go through all of the counseling with my niece. She has been rational and irrational through the whole ordeal, but what mother wouldn't? I know I have been through feelings that run from complete sorrow, anger, denial and depression many times over. To imagine the feelings my sister has gone through is almost more than I can comprehend. Her husband (the stepfather) had to support her through all of this, as well as paying over $2000.00 for counseling out of his pocket, and try to keep his household as normal as possible for my niece.
Then, to top it all off, they were victimized a second time. My sister was accused of "brainwashing" my niece to make up this incredible lie (no person could ever give a child that much detail to make it believable). What about the physical evidence to substantiate the truth? The father who committed this crime has claimed that it wasn't him, but possibly the stepfather, or even more outrageous, the stepfather's son. This boy does not live with the family, and he had only seen my niece on three occasions. He was 11, 12, and 13 years old at the time. Hardly at an age to be real sexually active, or knowledgeable, especially in the area of anal sex. To point a finger at innocent people, especially a boy, makes him a victim. This little girl, who has been through enough, was accused of lying. That almost, above all else, is where I fight with my feelings of anger. Then there is the immediate family outside of these victims. My mom, dad, grandparents, husband, and myself. It eats at all of us. Most of all, because our only granddaughter, greatgranddaughter, and niece has been hurt physically and emotionally.
It also hurts us that a person we have loved for 10 years, trusted, befriended, and called family could have done this. Not one of us has ever had a reason to dislike the father. He has always been good to us. and we, in return, have been good to him. When my sister divorced him, we didn't. He was and has been a part of our family. So, we struggle with emotions ranging from pity and forgiveness for his actions to anger over his lies. I speak for myself about being a victim. I went for eight months trying not to say much about this case to most people, except for a few friends whom I confided in. I tried very hard to respect the feelings of those who knew the father. I knew they felt he was innocent until proven guilty. The undeniable evidence put forth by the District Attorney's office, as well as witnesses testimony, is what proved to an unbiased jury that the father was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Jehovah's Witness Church stood by the father (as they should have) saying that he was innocent until proven guilty. Now that the verdict is in, the church's new theory is "he's innocent because he says he is, or until he says he's not." This church and the people that support this idea of his "innocence" victimizes my niece twice by accusing her of lying. I understand that this church concurs that the doctors, D.A.'s office, family, and child have plotted against this one father. I want these people to see the reality of his guilt. I don't want them to abandon him. I feel they now support him in such away that he feels no remorse for his actions, almost a sense of guiltlessness.
I am a victim because I have to deal with some of these people daily, some of whom I care about a great deal. We are not vindictive. We don't find joy in sending someone to jail. We feel relief for my niece that this will never have to happen to her again, but there is sorrow for her too, because she has lost a father for a long time. Other victims are the incredible people from the District Attorney's office and Police Department, who went through the painful investigation and who labored long hours to present the truth. They met my niece and learned to love her too. Yes, they were doing their job, but no one could be involved in a case of this magnitude and not be affected by it. Last of all, the jurors were victims. They sat through three days of gross, descriptive testimony. I feel so bad for every one of them. I am sure they will feel the effects of this trial for a very long time. Time will heal many of my feelings and the feelings of others, but, for now, we are victims. SUZY WILLIAMS LORD
JANE DOE v. MICHAEL JAMES GEREMIA, SHIRLEY CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, ET AL is an ongoing 2021-23 New York civil court case. Edited excerpts from Plaintiff's complaint (allegations only):
Plaintiff JANE DOE's family were and are practicing Jehovah's Witnesses and all attended the SHIRLEY KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ... JANE DOE met Defendant [MICHAEL] GEREMIA through their shared membership at the SHIRLEY KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES. In approximately 1986, JANE DOE, then 12 years old, along with her sister, began babysitting Defendant GEREMIA's three young children, during which GEREMIA was overly friendly and complimentary to 12 year-old JANE DOE, commenting on her body and appearance. On one occasion, while GEREMIA's wife was busy getting ready, GEREMIA kissed JANE DOE while in the basement of his home.
[Ministerial Servant] GEREMIA led talks and Bible Study at SHIRLEY CONGREGATION. GEREMIA inquired of DOE's personal life asking her, inter alia, "Who do you like?". GEREMIA taught JANE DOE to talk in code ("143" means "I love you"). One was "I" (1 letter); four was "love" (4 letters) and three was "you" (3 letters). GEREMIA publicly announced the code "143" while looking at JANE DOE, while giving a public talk at the SHIRLEY KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES. JANE DOE had a pager and
Michael would constantly page to her "143".
When JANE DOE was 13 years old, [MICHAEL] GEREMIA took her hands and placed them on his penis and buttocks ... GEREMIA and his wife were always present when JANE DOE was meant to be babysitting at their home. GEREMIA's wife would end up watching the three children, leaving GEREMIA alone with JANE DOE. ... In approximately 1987-1988, between the ages of 13 and 14 years old, when JANE DOE was at GEREMIA's house, GEREMIA touched her over the clothing at first, then progressed to under the clothes, with him reassuring her every step of the way -- all in an effort to groom her ... This continued for six to nine months.
JANE DOE began attempting to avoid GEREMIA. JANE DOE stopped going to GEREMIA's home and to Bible Study at SHIRLEY CONGREGATION. When JANE DOE returned to SHIRLEY CONGREGATION, GEREMIA interrogated her regarding where she had been. When JANE DOE stated that she was interested in boys her own age and not grown men, GEREMIA pursued her more aggressively.
When JANE DOE was between the ages of 14 and 15 years old in 1988-1989, GEREMIA began sneaking her out of her parent's home through a window or the back door and would engage in sexual intercourse and oral sex with her in his car, at his home, on the premises at JANE DOE's job, or at JANE DOE's parent's home when her parents were out ... DOE's parents, including her father, an elder and ministerial servant within the SHIRLEY CONGREGATION, and thus, an agent of THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS DEFENDANTS learned that DOE was leaving the family home to meet with Defendant GEREMIA. Rather than take any actions to report the illegal conduct to child welfare or law enforcement authorities, DOE's parents instead invited Defendant GEREMIA to dinner and permitted the illegal relationship which led to the further and escalated sexual abuse of Plaintiff.
Soon after, GEREMIA announced his intention to kidnap JANE DOE and wrote a letter to his wife telling her that he was leaving her to run away with JANE DOE. In 1990, at the age of 16, JANE DOE moved out of her parent's home with only three outfits. The evening that JANE DOE left home, JANE DOE's parents called the Elders of the SHIRLEY CONGREGATION regarding GEREMIA's abuse of JANE DOE.
JANE DOE was called to a meeting with the Elders of SHIRLEY CONGREGATION, during which she disclosed GEREMIA's abuse of her in intimate detail, including his plans to kidnap her. JANE DOE's father, an elder within the Shirley Congregation, and an agent of THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS DEFENDANTS was present at the meeting, asserted that Plaintiff was responsible for her sexual abuse. Thus, JANE DOE was blamed for her participation and disfellowshipped from the Church as a result of the meeting. Soon after, JANE DOE (16) became legally emancipated from her parents.
Conversely, though the members of SHIRLEY CONGREGATION came to know about Defendant [MICHAEL] GEREMIA's sexual abuse of JANE DOE, he was not excommunicated from the Church. THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS DEFENDANTS never reported the sexual abuse of JANE DOE at the hands of GEREMIA to law enforcement authorities or child protective services.
WEST VIRGINIA v. BRIAN RANDALL GATTO was the 2017-21 child molestation prosecution of a member of the MOST PROMINENT large extended Jehovah's Witness Family in northern West Virginia and western Maryland, which includes an INTERNATIONALLY PROMINENT sibling. Brian R. Gatto is a "computer genius" who, along with his internationally prominent Jehovah's Witness sibling, were both employed at the time of the crimes at the same Morgantown IT firm, which provided contracted services to the Department of Defense and other federal government departments and agencies.
In March 2017, Fairmont, West Virginia police arrested Brian R. Gatto on allegations of having sexually molested a 7 year-old girl while that young relative visited then 28 year-old Brian Gatto at his home in Fairmont back in 2009. One of the two charges referred to Gatto as being a parent, guardian, or custodian.
In 2020, Brian Randall Gatto was indicted and again arrested on three child sexual abuse related charges while he was already incarcerated. That media article referred to Gatto as a "convicted felon". In August 2020, Brian R. Gatto was convicted on six sexual abuse related charges, and thereafter sentenced to 25-100 years in state prison. Brian Gatto's first parole hearing is set for 2055.
JENNIFER HINGLE v. MIKE COSTELLO, RED HOOK CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ET AL is an ongoing 2021-23 New York civil court case. Edited excerpts from Plaintiff's complaint (allegations):
In or around 1986, when Plaintiff Hingle was 7 years old, she moved to Red Hook, New York, with her mother, father, sister, and brother. At the time, Plaintiff Hingle's family were active members of the Red Hook Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses and loaned their 12-passenger van to the Kingdom Hall for field service in addition to family use.
Defendant [MIKE] COSTELLO was a Publisher with the Red Hook Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses and lived nearby the Hingle family. Beginning shortly after meeting Plaintiff Hingle in or around 1986 when she was seven years old, and continuing until Plaintiff was around 12 years old, Defendant COSTELLO conducted a campaign of grooming and sexually abusing Plaintiff, including but not limiting to the following acts:
a. while sitting next to her in her family's van with her father driving and outside the presence of her mother:
i. rubbing Plaintiff's head so that she would fall asleep on his lap;
ii. rubbing Plaintiff's back;
iii. rubbing Plaintiff's pre-pubescent chest and referring to her nipples as "rosebuds";
iv. Massaging Plaintiff's back using both hands, rubbing her lower back and buttocks and asking Plaintiff "doesn't it feel good?";
v. Using his fingers or a black pen with a smooth cap to vaginally penetrate Plaintiff beginning when she was only seven years old, while saying things such as: "you are already wet, I know you must like this", "you're excited to see me", "you're such a good girl", "you're all mine", and "you're very special";
vi. Threatening Plaintiff that if she ever told anyone about what he was doing, she would be kicked out of her home and disfellowshipped because she would be considered unclean and she would have to live with Defendant COSTELLO as his wife;
b. repeatedly singling Plaintiff out during evening book study groups hosted at Kingdom Hall by saying hello, sitting next to her, and feeding her mints and/or other candy while rubbing her back, neck, and then moving his hands to her chest, lower back, and buttocks, and if Plaintiff tried to resist he would simply excuse himself to the bathroom and then sit next to her to continue the abuse;
c. repeatedly attempting to prey upon Plaintiff by saying 'it must be hard being the middle child. Your older sister is so much smarter and prettier than you and your brother gets all the attention. You are special to me" and reminding Plaintiff that if she ever came forward, she would "bring reproach to Jehovah and shame to her family";
... the late Elder Paul Venezuela once saw Defendant COSTELLO rubbing Plaintiff's back and told him to stop but no further action was taken and the abuse continued. ... Defendants Tim Chrysler, Gilbert Corrigan, Karl Kaysen, and Dick Munsell, who were all Elders at the time, ... were aware of Defendant COSTELLO's sexual abuse of Plaintiff and of at least two other girls but did nothing to address or prevent the behavior, allowing it to continue.
As a result of the sexual abuse perpetrated by Defendant COSTELLO and condoned by the Defendants, Plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress and trauma manifesting itself in severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and a phobia of germs and anything unclean. After Kingdom Hall meetings, Plaintiff would take repeated showers, washing herself with household cleaners such as bleach until her skin turned red and raw, and spraying disinfectant all over her body, including her vagina and buttocks. As a result of being so young and not understanding sexual reproduction but understanding she was being sexually abused, Plaintiff believed she was pregnant and was traumatized as result. To this day, Plaintiff continues to struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive disorder such that she gave up a full-time nursing career as a new mother because she was triggered by the thought of leaving her son in the care of someone who might harm him, in the way she was harmed. ...
After WATCHTOWER DEFENDANTS were notified of DEFENDANT [MICHAEL] COSTELLO's actions and conduct with a child, they failed to adequately investigate, evaluate, otherwise monitor his conduct, and they failed to notify the authorities of his illegal sexual conduct with a child.
J.W. v. WATCHTOWER SOCIETY. (CALIFORNIA v. GILBERT SIMENTAL) Edited Excerpt:
J.W. is a female. J.W. was born in 1997. J.W. was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. In July 2006, J.W. and Gilbert Simental belonged to the Mountain View Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Prior to July 2006, at a different congregation, Simental served as a ministerial servant and as an elder. Upon joining the Mountain View congregation, Simental served as an elder. Simental's position as an elder created access to J.W.
"On July 15, 2006, [J.W.] and three other girls were invited to a slumber party at [Simental's] home. [Simental] had a daughter near the age of [J.W.] and the other invited girls. During that afternoon, [Simental] joined the girls in a pool in the backyard. While in the pool, [Simental] sexually molested [J.W.] and another girl (Doe 1) in separate incidents. Doe 1's sister, Doe 2, had previously been molested on two occasions by [Simental]."
Doe 1 and Doe 2 told their mother about Simental molesting them. The mother contacted an elder of the congregation, and a judicial committee was convened. Simental admitted he molested Doe 2 on two occasions, and that he molested Doe 1 twice on July 15. The judicial committee reproved Simental.
The principal of Doe 1 and Doe 2's school was notified of the abuse, and s/he reported it to law enforcement. Approximately two months after July 15, J.W.'s parents received a telephone call from the Murrieta Police Department asking if Simental sexually abused J.W. J.W.'s father (Father) spoke to the elders of the Mountain View congregation who advised Father that J.W. did not have to speak with the police.
J.W. and her family began attending a different congregation -- the French Valley Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Unbeknownst to J.W. and her family, Simental also moved to the French Valley congregation. Approximately one year after July 2006, J.W. informed her parents of the extent of Simental's sexual touching.
J.W.'s parents spoke to the police and then to the elders of the French Valley congregation. The elders came to J.W.'s home and "interrogated JW, who was approximately ten years of age, about the abuse in explicit detail. JW, and her parents, were very upset by the explicit nature of the questions asked, and the depth to which the Elders probed for information."
Father told the elders that he was thinking of requesting a restraining order against Simental. The elders told Father that he did not need to speak to the police, "and that to do so would bring reproach on the congregation." In two criminal cases, Simental was found guilty of molesting Doe 1, Doe 2, and J.W.2
S.V. v. SPEONK CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ET AL is an ongoing 2021-23 New York civil court case. Edited excerpts from Plaintiff's complaint (allegations):
Plaintiff was raised in a family of Jehovah's Witnesses ... [George] KELLER was an elder appointed by Defendants. He was also Plaintiff's step-father. [George Keller was employed as a Police Officer.] When plaintiff was approximately six (6) to seven (7) years old, in approximately 1967 to 1968, KELLER began to sexually assault Plaintiff. KELLER regularly sexually abused Plaintiff at the family home in his bedroom or the bathroom on Saturdays, when her mother was away at work. KELLER also physically abused Plaintiff, holding a knife to her throat and threatening to kill her if she disclosed the abuse, and beating her and her brother when KELLER found them naked together.
Plaintiff's mother brought Plaintiff before a committee of fellow Jehovah's Witnesses and Plaintiff reported [George] KELLER's sexual abuse. The committee blamed Plaintiff for KELLER's sexual abuse, accused her of being possessed by a demon and consigned her to treatment by a Jehovah's Witness psychiatrist. Nothing was done to censure KELLER or terminate his assaults on Plaintiff. Plaintiff reported KELLER's sexual abuse to the psychiatrist she saw and was beaten by KELLER for disclosing the abuse. The sexual abuse also continued.
The acts of sexual assault and abuse perpetrated against Plaintiff by [George] KELLER for his sexual gratification include but are not limited to: manually rubbing Plaintiff's vagina; digitally penetrating Plaintiff's vagina; penetrating Plaintiff's vagina with KELLER's penis.
E.G. v. CONEY ISLAND CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ET AL is an ongoing 2021-23 New York civil court case. Edited excerpts from Plaintiff's complaint (allegations):
Plaintiff was raised in a family of devout Jehovah's Witnesses. ... [John] PIERRE was an elder appointed by Defendants. When Plaintiff was approximately ten (10) to twelve (12) years old, between the approximate years of 1990 to 1992, PIERRE sexually assaulted and abused Plaintiff on multiple occasions. ... PIERRE was in his late 20s or early 30s at the time of the sexual assaults and abuse of Plaintiff.
The first occasion of sexual abuse occurred in [John] PIERRE's home ... PIERRE put pornography on the TV and forced Plaintiff to act out what they were watching on the TV. PIERRE forced Plaintiff to perform oral sex on him. Plaintiff was forced to go to PIERRE's home on multiple occasions, and eventually the behavior escalated to vaginal rape.
Plaintiff and her family attended services at the Coney Island Kingdom Hall. [John] PIERRE would take Plaintiff to the coatroom or an empty classroom and touch her breasts and rub against her with his penis.
In 1992, when Plaintiff was 12, she told her mother of the abuse. A hospital examination confirmed the rape. Plaintiff and her mother met with the CONEY ISLAND CONGREGATION overseers and reported the ongoing sexual assault and abuse. Thereafter, multiple meetings/interviews with Plaintiff and [John] PIERRE took place. During the time that these meetings/interviews were taking place, Plaintiff continued to be placed with PIERRE for field service and PIERRE continued to sexually assault and abuse Plaintiff. The CONEY ISLAND CONGREGATION dealt with the offense by "disfellowshipping" [John] PIERRE, but no further action was taken. PIERRE was allowed to attend services in another room. Police were not contacted.
MIGDALIA BURGOS v. VICTOR LEDESMA, BAY RIDGE CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, CONEY ISLAND CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, SUNSET CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ET AL is an ongoing 2021-23 New York civil court case. Edited excerpts from Plaintiff's complaint (allegations):
From 1978 until 1986, overseer VICTOR LEDESMA lived in New York and sexually molested Plaintiff beginning when she was 7 until the age of 15. Each act of sexual abuse occurred while Plaintiff was a minor and lacked the capacity to consent. Such acts of sexual molestation include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Digitally penetrating her vagina while still a child;
b. sodomizing her with his penis when she was 15 years old;
c. touching her buttocks, chest, and vagina for the purpose of his sexual pleasure beginning when she was 7 years old and continuing until she was around 15 years old.
On or about Summer of 1986, Plaintiff confided the abuse she had been suffering for years at the hand of Defendant VICTOR LEDESMA to an adult member of the congregation, Emily Guzman (BAY RIDGE KINGDOM HALL), and told her she had been sexually assaulted the night before at the BAY RIDGE KINGDOM HALL, telling her that he sexually assaulted her the night before.
On or about August or September of 1986 when Plaintiff was approximately 15 years old, Plaintiff reported this behavior to The WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, who sent a Special Judiciary Committee to her congregation BAY RIDGE KINGDOM HALL consisting of 2 Elders from BAY RIDGE KINGDOM HALL congregation and a third, Bethel Elder to handle Plaintiff's case. ... prior to the conclusion of any potential investigation into the matter, VICTOR LEDESMA wrote a letter of dissent to the WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT BIBLE SOCIETY regarding any judicial determination on the case. Then the WATCHTOWER TRACT AND BIBLE SOCIETY sent in a new Bethel Elder to spearhead a new Judicial Committee and investigation. Plaintiff would again be interrogated and have to re-tell and re-live the facts of her abuse to this new group of men. This happened 5 times, never conducting a meaningful investigation or making any findings.
When Plaintiff was approximately 16 years old, she changed her congregation from BAY RIDGE KINGDOM HALL (Spanish to English) then again at 17 to the CONEY ISLAND KINGDOM HALL, and finally again at age 18, SUNSET KINGDOM HALL. At all congregations Plaintiff spoke to the elders about her abuse looking for empathy and direction from adults only to be seen as a pariah and treated as if she was disfellowshipped.
After Plaintiff reported her sexual abuse by Defendant LEDESMA to the Elders of several different kingdom halls and congregations, ... DEFENDANTS failed to conduct a meaningful investigation or take any meaningful disciplinary action against her abuser, Defendant LEDESMA. The Elders of the Kingdom Halls had to report directly to the Elders in headquarters in New York. ...
[NEW YORK v. VICTOR LEDESMA]. In or around 1987[-89], the Kings County District Attorney's Office prosecuted Defendant VICTOR LEDESMA, and Defendant LEDESMA plead guilty to Sexual Abuse in the First Degree ... for abuse related to the Plaintiff under case number 09994-87. [Ledesma was sentenced to a mere five years probation.]
None of the Elders in any of Plaintiff's congregations, nor any members of Defendant WATCHTOWER, ever reported the abuse to the police or to Child Protective Services.
Here is a late 2019 disclosure about a male Jehovah's Witness Employee working at an elementary school who had a sexual relationship with one of the female students in 2001. In 2009, Chad Kalawaia confessed such to a police detective who did NOTHING -- ZERO. Hmmm. Could that cop have been a relative or even a JW?
Chad Kalawaia even discloses that he was "disciplined as a Jehovah's Witness". When? That means that a BODY OF ELDERS at a local Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses KNEW that one of their members who was a school employee was preying on students, and they did not alert either that school nor law enforcement. How long before Kalawaia's 2009 confession was the BOE aware of such?
The following excerpt (edited) comes from a HAWAII NEWS NOW article published on November 26, 2019:
"... On May 22, 2009, a man who worked at the girl's school, Chad Kalawaia, went to HPD headquarters to make a powerful statement. He met with Detective Sheryl Sunia, ... . Sunia recorded the interview, in which Kalawaia tells her he's a baker at Waimanalo Elementary & Intermediate School and then drops a bombshell: He had started dating the girl ... when she was 14 years old. "The first time I kissed her was on Dec. 31, 2000", he tells Sunia. On the recording he admits that the relationship turned sexual months later in 2001, when the girl was still 14 years old. [Chad] Kalawaia was 26 years old at that time.
Kalawaia: "I did have sex with her ... ." ...
Kalawaia: "And I'm not proud of it, I did have sex with her."
[Chad] Kalawaia says he was disciplined as a Jehovah's Witness, and "I did make things right with myself, with my family and with my God."
Lawson, of the Hawaii Innocence Project, said that based on the recording it appears that Kalawaia didn't believe the girl was underage at the time. "I don't believe he knew the law had changed in July of 2001. Because what he's trying to say is, I waited until after she was 14 to engage in sex," Lawson said. "Now he's saying this at the time that the law had already changed to 16 so unbeknownst to him, it's a crime." And court documents support Lawson's statement.
Sunia had all this information, but did not pursue the case. Hawaii News Now asked Sunia, now retired from HPD, why the child sex assault investigation did not switch ... to [Chad] Kalawaia. She declined HNN's requests for comment.
(EDITOR: Note that the article first states that then 26 year-old Chad Kalawaia started "dating" the victim when she was "14 years-old". However, his confession states that he waited until the victim was 14 years-old to engage in sex. Seemingly, Kalawaia had been grooming the victim since she was 12 or 13 years-old.)
RIA WILLIAMS v. HARRY DIAMANTI; ERIC STOCKER; RAULON HICKS; DANIEL HARPER; ROY UTAH KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES; ET AL is an ongoing Utah civil court case. Ria Williams was born into a Jehovah's Witness family which attended multiple Kingdom Halls of Jehovah's Witnesses during her formative years. By the time Ria Williams was a teenager, the Williams family was attending the Kingdom Hall in Roy, Utah.
In Summer 2007, through a mutual friend, 14 year-old Ria Williams met and began to associate with an 18 year-old male Jehovah's Witness named Colin Williams. Over the following months, Colin is alleged to have began to "aggressively bully" Ria. In Summer 2007, Colin, Ria, and the JW mutual friend made plans to go to a movie. The mutual friend was a no-show. After the movie, Colin allegedly took away Ria's cellphone and refused to return it or drive Ria home until first Ria kissed his cheek -- which Ria refused to do.
In December 2007, Colin Williams allegedly "compelled" Ria to get in his auto. Colin allegedly then drove to a secluded area where, despite Ria's protests, Colin allegedly kissed Ria and touched her breasts and crotch through her clothes. Within two weeks of that assault, Colin Williams allegedly raped Ria three more times.
Within a matter of weeks thereafter, "someone" reported those sexual assaults to the Body of Elders at the Roy, Utah Kingdom Hall. A "Judicial Committee" was formed -- consisting of four Elders: Harry Diamanti, Eric Stocker, Raulon Hicks, and Daniel Harper. Ria Williams was investigated for the sin of "porneia". In April 2008, that Judicial Committee summoned by-then 15 year-old Ria, her mother, and her stepfather to a "Judicial Hearing". There, the Elders questioned Ria for 45 minutes attempting to determine whether Ria had "voluntarily" engaged in sexual activity with Colin Williams. Failing to obtain the info that they sought, the Elders then presented an audio recording of one of the sexual assaults. Interestingly, that audio recording had been given to the Elders by Colin Williams, himself. Ria Williams began to cry and plead with the Elders to turn off that recording. Ria did not want to relive the experience of being raped. Instead, for more than four hours the four Elders started and stopped the recording as they questioned Ria as to exactly what was occurring at that point in the tape -- all in an effort to get Ria to confess that she had consented to the sexual activity with Colin Williams.
Ria Williams suffered mentally, emotionally, and physically from that ordeal. Ria received both psychological counseling and medical treatment in the months following that judicial hearing, and she continues to this day to suffer distress from such. In June 2009, the Utah Division of Child and Family Services filed a complaint against those Elders with the Department of Human Services. DHS convened an administrative hearing which found that those Elders had engaged in "emotional maltreatment" during the judicial hearing.
In 2016, Ria Williams filed in state court this civil action against the BOE, the local congregation, and the WatchTower Society. In August 2017, the Weber County District Court begrudgingly dismissed Ria's case citing the Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution as giving the court no choice in the matter. However, that judge labeled as "reprehensible" the actions of the Jehovah's Witness Elders at the judicial hearing, while noting that such would be actionable but-for the religious setting and context. In March 2019, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed that dismissal. This case has been appealed to the Utah Supreme Court. Pending.
PENNSYLVANIA v. JOSHUA CALDWELL and PENNSYLVANIA v. JENNIFER MCVEY. In December 2018, the York Daily Record reported (edited):
"Sarah Brooks was 17, riding in her dad's pickup, when she told him. ... It was hard to tell her dad. She knew what had been happening to her was wrong. She knew that it needed to stop. She felt deep shame and deep guilt. She was the victim, but still, she felt that what had happened to her was her fault, that she was a horrible, dirty person. She knew there would be consequences. The people who did those things to her had warned her not to tell, ... they said that if she did, she would be ruining lives and that nobody would believe her and that she would be the one to suffer in the end. Still, she needed to tell. It was wrong. Something had to be done. So, she told.
"Sarah told her dad that Joshua [Caldwell] and Jennifer [McVey] had sexually abused her over a period of months, starting when she was 15. Joshua was Joshua Caldwell, a friend from church. Jennifer was Jennifer McVey, married to Sarah's brother and having an affair with Caldwell. Caldwell was 12 years older than Sarah; McVey, six. Sarah had been working for the couple cleaning out houses that were in foreclosure. [Sarah] had met them through their church, the Yorkana Pennsylvania Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, and thought that working for them would be safe and good, the church being a close and cloistered community. ...
"When they arrived home, her father told her to go to her room while he discussed what she had told him with her mother. Her parents called two of the elders of the church ... who came to the house and questioned Sarah. They sat in the living room -- Sarah, her parents and the two elders, who happened to be [Joshua] Caldwell's father-in-law and brother-in-law -- while the elders interviewed her, asking her questions about what had happened, making her provide details of the most shameful and intimate secrets she had been warned not to divulge. She told them about the sexual games they played in the work truck and at job sites. She told them about Caldwell and McVey coming to her home and abusing her, separately and together. She told them everything. They went over it again and again, making her tell them, again and again, about what happened.
"It felt like she was dying, Sarah recalled. As she was interrogated, she had a sinking, heavy feeling in her stomach. She was terrified. 'I don't know if there's a word to describe it ... Everything was so fresh and raw, and they kept making me repeat it and repeat it and repeat it.' [Sarah] felt terrible, humiliated, embarrassed, shamed. At the end of it, she still felt terrible, but at least she felt that she had done the right thing, that the abuse would stop and that the elders would give her justice by punishing her abusers. She was the victim. She would be OK, she thought. She trusted her church would do the right thing. She was wrong. ...
"About a week after the meeting in her living room, Sarah Brooks found herself sitting before a Judicial Committee composed of three elders selected by church headquarters, men who sat in judgment of her to determine the appropriate punishment. It was just her and these three men questioning her about the abuse, making her repeat, over and over again, what happened to her in nauseating detail.
"Sarah thought the purpose of the proceeding was to find out what had happened to her and to punish the offenders. She didn't know that it was intended to determine her punishment for the crime of being victimized. The elders [REPROVED] her, going before the congregation and shaming her. Her sin was keeping a secret and being a victim. She bore responsibility for what happened to her. As a [REPROVED] member of the congregation, she was effectively shunned. She was not permitted to speak unless spoken to. She was forbidden from participating in church activities. She was essentially made invisible in the eyes of the church.
"[Joshua Caldwell and Jennifer McVey were] also called before the Judicial Committee and were 'disfellowshipped', the equivalent of excommunication ... . ...
"Law enforcement was not called. The elders made it clear that they would handle the situation internally and that bringing secular authorities into it would only 'bring reproach upon Jehovah's name', Sarah recalled. 'They made me feel that it was being handled properly. ... My parents supported it. I assumed I was in good hands. I trusted my parents. I trusted the elders'.
"Four months after she reported the abuse, her abusers were arrested, charged with sexual offenses, indecent assault and corruption of minors. They accepted plea deals, pleading guilty to corruption of minors. In December 2014, Joshua Caldwell was sentenced to six to 23 months in county prison and placed on probation for three years. In September 2015, Jennifer McVey was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. ... ."
PENNSYLVANIA v. JOHN LOGAN HAUGH (2017-18). In December 2018, the York Daily Record reported (edited):
"In October 2005, [Martin] Haugh was at the [Red Lion, Pennsylvania Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses] attending to his duties as a Ministerial Servant ... handing out assignments to 'Pioneers' planning to do door-to-door missionary work. It was a Wednesday [Meeting For Field Service], .... His 4-year-old daughter was with him but had wandered off. When he went to look for her, he found her behind a potted plant in the lobby with his [13 year-old] step-cousin, John Logan Haugh. The teen had his hands under his daughter's dress.
"[Martin Haugh] was shocked. He and his wife, Jennifer, were contemplating what to do when Sunday rolled around. He was again handing out [Field Service] assignments while his wife took their toddler son to the bathroom. He looked around for his daughter, panicking. He ran through the Kingdom Hall, calling out her name. He found her in [the "library"], perched on the teenager's lap. [The 13 year-old] had his hands up her dress. His daughter told him, 'He wanted to give me a special hug'.
"[Martin Haugh] told his wife, 'He touched her again'. [Haugh] approached his uncle and told him. His uncle apologized. Haugh went to the elders. At no time was it suggested that he call police. In fact, he was told he would be disciplined if he did and that he would not [be promoted to "elder"]. The suggestion that he would go to the police made his aunt furious with him. His uncle threatened to sue him if he reported the abuse. [Haugh] didn't report it. ...
"Then, in the ensuing years, [Haugh] heard about other reports of abuse -- including those made by [two JW Teens and] at least two others, an instance of incestuous rape and a woman abusing a boy half her age -- and [Haugh] went to police. [Haugh] also began to doubt the faith. He questioned the church's beliefs, prompted by its continually shifting teachings. ... He left the church in February 2016. He reported his daughter's abuse to police -- nearly a dozen years after he witnessed it.
"In October 2017, John Logan Haugh, [then age] 26, was charged with two counts of indecent assault of a person under 13 years of age. ... ."
In December 2018, John L. Haugh reportedly reached an agreement with the local District Attorney for dismissal of all criminal charges. The DA reportedly reached his decision given John Haugh's age at the time he was alleged to have committed the crimes, given his then young age, and given that John Haugh had been evaluated and determined not to be a current risk to society.
PAGE 2 PAGE 3 PAGE 4 PAGE 5 PAGE 6 PAGE 7 PAGE 8
MORE CHILD MOLESTATION COURT CASES ON THE FOLLOWING 7 PAGES
<<<------PREVIOUS PAGE----------HOME PAGE----------NEXT PAGE ------>>>