Woman Suing Mormon Church Confronts Alleged Rapist’s Congregation With Allegations Mid-Service
A Utah judge recently approved the woman’s lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in which she alleges the church covered up her 1984 rape at the hands of Joseph L. Bishop, former president of the church’s Missionary Training Center. She stood before the congregation of an Arizona church during a fast-and-testimony ceremony and reiterated her allegations against Bishop, calling him a sexual predator. (RELATED: Woman Accuses 85-Year-Old Ex-Mormon Missionary Of Rape)
“The first presidency and the quorum of the twelve apostles are covering a sexual predator that lives in your ward. His name is Joseph Bishop. He was the MTC president in 1984 when he raped me in the basement of the MTC,” the woman said.
Bishop was attending the ceremony at the time with his son, according to Deseret News.
While the woman has openly identified herself and continues to do so, The Daily Caller News Foundation typically refrains from naming victims in ongoing cases involving alleged sexual assault or abuse.
Two church officials then confronted her at the podium and, after urging her to step away and speak with them in private, tried to drag her away. She told them not to touch her and continued briefly before leaving.
“In order to keep the church safe, we need to hold sexual predators accountable, whether they are pedophiles or whether they are rapists like Joseph Bishop,” she said.
Church spokesman Eric Hawkins issued a statement concerning the woman’s public reiteration of her allegations, saying the church was disappointed that someone would use the ceremony “for their own personal cause.”
“Once each month, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participate in a worship service that includes an opportunity for members to share their testimonies of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and his gospel,” the statement read. “It is disappointing that anyone would interrupt such a worship service to bring attention to their own personal cause.”
“Recording and posting of these disruptions on social media to seek public attention and media coverage, sadly, shows an unfortunate lack of respect for others. We respectfully request that those with personal grievances find other means to communicate their messages than disrupting the sanctity of a worship service,” Hawkins added.
The woman’s supporters filmed the incident Sunday and posted it online.
“You know this is assault, right? And you know that we’re filming this, right?” the unidentified camerawoman said.
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