An Oregon woman has filed a $9.5 million lawsuit against the Mormon church for reporting her husband's confession about sexual abuse to the police.
The suit, filed by Kristine Johnson in a Marion County Circuit Court, accuses the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of violating its policy of keeping confessions confidential. In addition to the $9.5 million, the suit seeks $40,000 to cover the cost of her husband's criminal attorney. The claim stems from a 2016 incident in which Timothy Johnson had "inappropriate contact" with an underage girl. Afterwards, he confessed to church officials, who preach that members should "confess their sins unto the brethren before the Lord," according to the suit. However, church officials went to the police, and Timothy Johnson was arrested in 2017. He's currently serving 15 years in prison.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is defending its actions. "The church teaches that leaders and members should fulfill all legal obligations to report abuse to civil authorities," spokesman Eric Hawkins says.
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