In September of 2018, a jury in Montana awarded a $35 million verdict against the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was the lawyer that represented the victim and obtained that verdict.
Here is what we proved at trial:
In 2004, two victims of child sex abuse notified church leaders that a church member had sexually abused them. The child molester admitted to church leaders what he had done. When the child molester admitted this in 2004, the leaders knew that this child molester was attending their church with a child that was staying with him on the weekends.
Here is just some of the testimony from a church elder explaining what the church knew:
Q. So is it fair for me to tell the jury that after you knew and the Elders knew that Max Reyes was a pedophile, you looked out into the congregation at the Thompson Falls church and you saw Lexi Nunez attending church with Max Reyes?
A. She was there in the Kingdom Hall, yes.
Q. And you saw that with your eyes?
Q. And when you saw that, you knew that Max had not been reported to any of the authorities as being a pedophile?
Because the pedophile was not reported to the authorities, he continued to molest that little girl who was attending church with him.
When asked about why the church never reported the admitted pedophile to law enforcement, the church elder said that they would do the exact same thing if it happened tomorrow.
Q. When you did what you did in 2004, did you feel like you were doing what the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization tells you to do?
A. We felt that we worked in line with the guidelines that we were given, yes.
Q. If the same thing happened tomorrow, would you do the same thing?
A. Exact same case?
Q. Exact same case.
The Jehovah’s Witness organization and Watchtower have a problem. They refuse to protect children from pedophiles. This is not an accident or mistake. It is church policy.
If you were a Jehovah’s Witness and the church failed to protect you from abuse, you are not alone. Contact us now about your legal rights.