News / Utah / 

Spencer Hall, KSL, File

Navajo judge won't toss claims of abuse in former LDS program

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun 1st, 2018 @ 3:14pm



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Navajo Nation judge is refusing to dismiss lawsuits claiming Native American children were sexually abused while enrolled in a Mormon church foster program.

Judge Carol Perry said in the ruling released Thursday the cases should be heard in Navajo court.

The allegations were said to have taken place outside the Navajo Nation in Utah or Arizona, but the judge found tribal courts have jurisdiction because the program was based there. Perry also cited a fundamental Navajo belief that children must not be mistreated.

The lawsuits say the church failed to protect children from sexual abuse after they were placed with host families.

Thousands of children participated in the now-defunct program that was meant to give children educational opportunities from the late 1940s until around 2000.

A church spokesman declined to comment on the decision. Leaders have said the church works to prevent abuse.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related Stories

The Associated Press

    KSL Weather Forecast