278: To Win at All Costs: The LDS Church and its Heartless Legal Machine: Craig Vernon

Plaintiff McKenna Denson and Lawyer Craig Vernon

Craig Vernon has represented clients in several high profile church and clergy perpetrated sexual abuse cases including cases involving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Litigating cases against the LDS Church shows them to be formidable adversaries who are motivated to win at all costs – after all – they are defending the Kingdom of God.

But, what puzzles Craig Vernon, like so many other others, is where is the pastoral care for the victims of LDS church and clergy related sexual abuse?  

Why is the defence of the institution more important than the care of the abused?

And, why do the LDS Church’s public statements about their zero-tolerance for sexual abuse not square with how they handle sexual abuse cases involving their own members?



5 comments for “278: To Win at All Costs: The LDS Church and its Heartless Legal Machine: Craig Vernon

  1. January 28, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Showing how the LDS / Brighamite church is using the same playbook as the bad guys in Batman Begins

  2. January 28, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Although there is a statute of limitation in the state courts, there are no scriptures for a statute of limitations when a sin or a crime was committed in church courts, and since we are to use “[God’s] SCRIPTURES for a LAW” and this “LAW to GOVERN [God’s] church” D&C 42:59, I propose that McKenna Denson‘s rapist be put on trial in a church court using God’s laws to govern it and not man’s policies found in the Church Handbook of Instructions. This is assuming that McKenna is willing to be one of the multiple witnesses required, which considering she has continually tried to have this taken care of through the years, I have no doubt she is willing to come forward as a witness at a real church court according to God’s words. I personally know of no other witnesses but am confident that McKenna or someone else can find one other witness. I suggest if we want to root out this wickedness from the church we need to do this and sadly to so many others, as commanded in D&C 42:79-93, D&C 107:68-78 and many others we have looked at.

  3. Heather
    February 28, 2019 at 11:52 am

    This aligns 100% with my experience. The LDS church protected a pedophile church leader who was reported to them, who then later sexually abused me and many others. In the midst of our abuse, this pedophile was again reported to the church, but still they did nothing until years later when one victim went to the police. Then they convinced all the families who came forward to stay quiet.

    When the statute of limitations was about to run out in my 20’s, I tried to bring a civil case against the church. I was suicidal, struggling with severe trauma and emotional issues, without any financial resources to actually bring a successful case.

    Instead of looking at their role in what happened to me and other victims, and having any compassion, they used every tactic at their disposal and their significant resources to find arguments and technicalities to get my case dismissed before I could ever present any evidence. My attorney was stunned and said he’d never seen a religion behave in such a way toward a sexual abuse victim.

    When my case was dismissed, I fell to the floor sobbing in the courtroom and my attorney begged the church’s attorneys to help me, telling them I was suicidal and at least needed help with therapy. They said nothing and walked right past me like I was a piece of trash. If that’s how “the one true church” treats the people it’s harmed, then I’d rather end up in hell.

    • Gina Colvin
      March 3, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      I am sorry to hear this. You aren’t alone.

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