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Recordings show how the Mormon church protects itself from child sex abuse claims

by Ethan Kim
5 comments

The article titled “Recordings show how the Mormon church protects itself from child sex abuse claims” reveals a troubling situation involving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon church) and its handling of child sexual abuse allegations. The article details a case where a woman named Chelsea Goodrich accused her father, a former bishop in the church, of sexually abusing her during her childhood.

In March 2017, Chelsea and her mother, Lorraine, met with Paul Rytting, an attorney and head of the church’s Risk Management Division, in Hailey, Idaho. They sought the church’s cooperation in allowing a local bishop, Bishop Michael Miller, who had heard a confession from Chelsea’s father, to testify at John Goodrich’s trial. However, the church employed a risk management playbook that discouraged Miller from testifying, citing a law that exempts clergy from divulging information obtained during a confession.

Audio recordings obtained by The Big Big News reveal Rytting’s efforts to discourage testimony, along with offers of hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for a confidentiality agreement. Ultimately, the charges against John Goodrich were dropped, and he remains free.

The article sheds light on the use of confidentiality agreements, often referred to as NDAs, to keep sexual abuse allegations secret. Chelsea and Lorraine accepted a settlement from the church, which included an NDA, preventing them from suing the church while allowing Chelsea to share her story with the public.

This case highlights the challenges and complexities surrounding child sexual abuse allegations within religious organizations and the legal mechanisms used to protect the institutions involved.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about

What is the main subject of this article?

The main subject of this article is the handling of child sexual abuse allegations within the Mormon Church and the use of confidentiality agreements (NDAs) to maintain secrecy.

Who is Chelsea Goodrich, and what is her role in this story?

Chelsea Goodrich is a woman who accused her father, a former bishop in the Mormon Church, of sexually abusing her during her childhood. She plays a central role in the article as the survivor who sought justice and shared her story.

Who is Paul Rytting, and why is he mentioned in the article?

Paul Rytting is an attorney and the head of the Mormon Church’s Risk Management Division. He is mentioned because of his involvement in handling Chelsea Goodrich’s case and his efforts to discourage testimony from a bishop who had heard a confession from Chelsea’s father.

What legal mechanism is cited in the article to protect clergy from divulging information about child sex abuse?

The article mentions a law that exempts clergy from having to divulge information about child sex abuse that is gleaned during a confession. This legal mechanism is used by the church to discourage testimony.

How did Chelsea and Lorraine Goodrich navigate their situation with the church and the legal system?

Chelsea and Lorraine Goodrich sought the church’s cooperation in allowing a bishop to testify at John Goodrich’s trial. They also accepted a settlement from the church, which included a confidentiality agreement (NDA). This allowed Chelsea to share her story publicly while preventing them from suing the church.

What broader issues are highlighted in this article?

The article raises broader issues related to the secrecy surrounding child sexual abuse allegations within religious organizations and the ethical considerations of using NDAs in such cases. It also touches on the challenges faced by survivors seeking justice within their communities.

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5 comments

Reader123 December 4, 2023 - 9:50 am

wow, so sad, church protects abusers, how could that happen?

Reply
InquisitiveSoul December 4, 2023 - 2:45 pm

Paul Rytting role questionable, church’s actions troubling.

Reply
ThoughtfulReader December 4, 2023 - 8:02 pm

chelsea & lorraine brave, church secrecy must end, abuse survivors need support.

Reply
CuriousMind December 5, 2023 - 3:55 am

why ndas in abuse cases? need more transparency!

Reply
ConcernedCitizen December 5, 2023 - 4:07 am

church & ndas, serious problem, victims silenced, no justice.

Reply

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