Navajo judge won’t toss claims of abuse in Mormon program

Stock image, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Navajo Nation judge is refusing to dismiss lawsuits claiming Native American children were sexually abused while enrolled in a Mormon church foster program.

Judge Carol Perry said in the ruling released Thursday the cases should be heard in Navajo court.

The allegations were said to have taken place outside the Navajo Nation in Utah or Arizona, but the judge found tribal courts have jurisdiction because the program was based there. Perry also cited a fundamental Navajo belief that children must not be mistreated.

The lawsuits say the church failed to protect children from sexual abuse after they were placed with host families.

Thousands of children participated in the now-defunct program that was meant to give children educational opportunities from the late 1940s until around 2000.

A church spokesman declined to comment on the decision. Church leaders have said the church works to prevent abuse.

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  • ladybugavenger June 4, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Good. Although originally from oklahoma, my husband’s mother moved to Colorado with 7 kids. She went mormon church for help. fostered a few out so she could go to school. My Native American. It was the 70’s husband was sent to a foster family in Salg Lake. An LDS family. Foster sister raped him and foster mom and dad were into bondage.

    That wasnt even close to the worst part of his childhood.

    • Anon June 4, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      I really feel that men’s rape accusations get swept under the rug UNLESS the accused is another man. What happened to your husband was inexcusable. I am sorry that he has had to deal with that for all these years. I hope he was able to find closure.

  • ladybugavenger June 4, 2018 at 11:34 am

    If you can read through the typos. I was trying to type quickly

  • jaybird June 5, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Id bet this happens way more than we will ever know. But someone always knows.

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