Branch President went to trial for abuse, was acquitted. Continued molesting young boys for many years after the fact.

My stepfather was a Branch President in a small congregation in Southwest Missouri. He was accused of molesting a young boy in our ward. A boy with a single mother who would stay over at our house often and play with my little brothers, as my stepfather insisted he needed a father figure. My stepfather would fall asleep in my little brothers’ bed almost nightly, saying he fell asleep while reading them books. My mother saw no problem with this. The boy who accused him was new to our ward, his mother was a recent convert. She was a good woman from what I saw, trying to find community and raise her kids the best way she knew how. She and my mother became good friends, she would bring her kids to our home often. Her son was just a few years older than my little brothers, I would say 11 or 12 at the time.

After a sleepover, this boy went home and told his mother that he was molested by my stepfather. The police came over, they found evidence of semen in the bed the boy slept in. They took it in to evidence, and charges were put against my step father. The ensuing months were the beginnings of a court case. The semen found in the bed was that of the little boys. Through the court proceedings, my stepfather and his lawyer alleged that the boy had a wet dream. That my stepfather was the perfect model of a good step father and church leader. My step father was ordered to not be in the home with my little brothers while the trial progressed.

In the trial, they dug through the mother of the boys past. Alleged she was unstable, that she was angry with my step father for taking away her temple recommend. The jury trial took place a few months after the incident. My stepfather was incarcerated during this time. In the end, the jury found my step father not guilty. They believed that he had been slandered by an angry woman. The mother and her children moved away. My stepfather continued on with his life, although he was no longer the President of our branch. He still attended church regularly, and maintained he was saved from being a martyr by his faith. He compared himself to Joseph Smith often.

Years later, my youngest little brother was doing his mission interviews. In an interview, he shared that he and my other brother had been molested for years. The interviewer did contact the local leaders of my stepfathers ward, and he was disfellowshiped. That’s it. No one else was contacted, the family wasn’t told. My little brother went off on his mission. To find out that the whole time my stepfather was abusing young boys, specifically my two sweet brothers was beyond devastating. The fact that the court system had the chance to stop a pedophile and failed is heartbreaking. I have all the names, dates and information available if someone wishes to contact me. I have tried to get the court records unsealed with no success. I have tried to find this little boy and his mother, as I believe they deserve to be told they were wronged deeply and to be validated. That mother was protecting her son. She was trying to protect other children, trying to protect my brothers. And they slandered her. They must have broke her heart, and that boy had to have lost his trust in so many things.

I am glad this website exists. I think it is of the utmost importance these stories are told. The Mormon church failed on many levels, here. Even if we wanted to trust the justice system and say that he was innocent, the fact that it came out years later he was abusing other boys and they did nothing about it is UNACCEPTABLE.

Read 41 survivor stories by victims of sexual abuse or shaming perpetrated by Mormon church members or leaders. has a free public database of hundreds of Mormon sex abuse cases.