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Woman confronts Arizona congregation with rape allegation; church responds

By Tad Walch, Deseret News | Updated - Sep. 4, 2018 at 6:34 p.m. | Posted - Sep. 4, 2018 at 4:16 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Colorado woman suing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because she claims it covered up her alleged 1984 rape by a former Missionary Training Center president, stood up Sunday during a fast-and-testimony church meeting in Chandler, Arizona, to record and publicly restate her allegation against the man in his home congregation.

The church responded Tuesday, expressing disappointment that McKenna Denson had disrupted the worship service.

"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," spokesman Eric Hawkins said. "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," he added. "We respectfully request that those with personal grievances find other means to communicate their messages than disrupting the sanctity of a worship service."

Denson's statement was videotaped by her supporters and fellow critics of the church and posted on YouTube.

Reached by phone on Tuesday, Denson declined an interview request made by the Deseret News.

To read the full story, visit the Deseret News.

Tad Walch

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