Lawsuit Alleges Abuse of Teen by Mormon Missionary
A lawsuit filed recently in Riverside County Superior Court in Palm Springs claims that a young woman was abused by a Mormon missionary in 1985 when she was only 13 years old. The lawsuit also alleges that when a church bishop learned of the abuse, her family was instructed to keep silent and a payment was made to the family to ensure silence.
Abuse Allegations The lawsuit says that Jacqueline Tyler was sexually abused by the missionary, who is only described as being in his 20s, from July to November 1985. Tyler became pregnant as a result of the abuse, giving birth to a son on June 30, 1986. Upon learning of the pregnancy, according to court documents, the missionary paid for Tyler to go to New York where he physically abused her, attempting to force a miscarriage. After Tyler reported the abuse, the bishop did not report the incident to authorities, but sought to send her out of the area, take the child from her and give it to another Mormon couple to raise. Tyler refused to do so and raised the child herself. Verification of Suit Merit According to state civil codes, defendants are not named in suits until a judge determines if the allegations are valid. Once that is determined, the defendant will be named and the information can be made public. In addition, state code allows a plaintiff to file such lawsuits years after the abuse, as long as the suit is filed within three years of the abused person determining that they have suffered psychological damage related to the abuse. Psychological Damage The lawsuit contends that Tyler has suffered from humiliation, shame and fear over the years because of the sexual abuse. Court documents claim that she has suffered shock, emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, discharge, humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life. The suit follows several others related to similar abuse years earlier. In January, two men sued the Mormon Church, claiming a Mormon missionary sexually molested them in the late 1980s. Other suits have been brought against the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church. When the actions of another person cause psychological or physical injury to another person, a personal injury lawsuit may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free initial consultation regarding an incident where the actions of another may have caused significant physical or psychological harm. For more information on Frenkel & Frenkel, visit our website at www.FrenkelFirm.com.