Woman Sues Mormon Church After Leader Allegedly Rapes Her

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A woman filed a lawsuit against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) Wednesday after she was allegedly raped by a Mormon leader who trained missionaries in Provo, Utah.

McKenna Denson, 55, filed a lawsuit after she was allegedly sexually assaulted in a “secluded room” by Joseph Bishop, 85, the former president of the LDS’ Missionary Training Center, while she was working as a missionary in 1984.

The suit claims that the church failed to take action to prevent Bishop from sexually assaulting women, Deseret News reported. Denson wants monetary compensation and for the church to change its policies to prevent alleged sexual misconduct in the future, Buzzfeed News added.

An audio recording released in March first made the suit public. The audio recording shows Denson confronting Bishop who admitted that he was a “sexual predator.” Bishop denied raping Denson, but did say that he was a “sexual predator” and sexually assaulted other women.

“I am very happy and it’s been a long time coming,” Denson told Buzzfeed. “I feel very confident in our case and in the Me Too movement,” Denson added.

“We share the anger and distress Church members and others feel to learn of incidents where those entrusted with sacred responsibilities violate God’s commandments and harm others. Such behavior is repulsive and sinful. The Church is looking into all aspects of the assertions on the recording of Joseph Bishop,” said Eric Hawkins, an LDS church spokesman.

The LDS church claimed that it first learned of the allegations in 2010.

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