$13.5M award in Jehovah’s Witnesses molest case.
1 November 2014;
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Jehovah’s Witnesses were ordered to pay $13.5 million to a Southern California man who said he was molested as a child by a church member.
A San Diego judge ruled Wednesday that the church’s governing body covered up years of sexual abuse by a member who later became an elder.
Superior Judge Joan Lewis said actions of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York were “reprehensible and reckless,” U-T San Diego reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1uf519R ).
Jose Lopez, who was awarded the money, sued the group, alleging that he was molested in 1986 at age 7 by a member of the Spanish congregation in the Linda Vista area of San Diego.
Lopez said the elders suggested Gonzalo Campos as his Bible teacher even though they knew he had molested at least one other boy, the suit contended. Lopez also said that after he told his mother about the molestation, church leaders told his mother not to report it to law enforcement.
Six other men and one woman who also claimed that Campos molested them have settled their lawsuits out of court.Continue reading →