In , after Debbie McDaniel left her Jehovah's Witness congregation in McAlester, Oklahoma, she went to police and told them members had been sitting outside her apartment, monitoring her every move. The Witnesses, she said, were trying to make the case that she was unfit to parent her son, on account of being in a relationship with a woman. But it was something else she told a detective that most alarmed the cops, she said: "You would think an organization that would allow me to be molested for years could now just let me go in peace. Within weeks, cops had arrested Ronald Lawrence, whom McDaniel, 50, accused of molesting her when she was underage, as Reveal News reported. At least two other people came forward with similar allegations. According to the Tulsa-World, Lawrence told prosecutors he had been "disfellowshipped" basically excommunicated from the church over sexual abuse allegations, that he had admitted misconduct in the past in order to be reinstated, and that law enforcement had never previously been informed.
Data Protection Choices
Jehovah's Witnesses' handling of child sex abuse - Wikipedia
A former Jehovah's Witness is using stolen documents to expose allegations that the religion has kept hidden for decades. The organization was concerned about the legal risk posed by possible child molesters within its ranks. The letter laid out instructions on how to deal with a known predator: Write a detailed report answering 12 questions—Was this a onetime occurrence, or did the accused have a history of child molestation? How is the accused viewed within the community? Does anyone else know about the abuse? Yet all this time, Watchtower has refused to comply with multiple court orders to release the information contained in its database and has paid millions of dollars over the years to keep it secret, even from the survivors whose stories are contained within.
A Secret Database of Child Abuse
Brian Chase listened carefully from his Tucson, Ariz. But the agency was unsure of the scope of sexual abuse within the often-misunderstood religion, which was founded in Pittsburgh in the s. In the s, when he was a teenager, Chase said, he was drugged and raped by a man who belonged to his congregation. Decades would pass before Chase understood that their stories were common within Witness communities across the country, but rarely reported to police.
Prosecutors say that a Casper-area Jehovah's Witnesses ministerial servant sexually abused a year-old girl. Michael Allen Mayer is facing two counts of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years behind bars.