Lawsuit Accuses Church Organization of Not Reporting Sexual Abuse (1998)

Wednesday, February 25, 1998

texnewsHOUSTON (AP) — A Houston teen-ager has filed a lawsuit accusing the national Jehovah’s Witness organization of failing to tell authorities that her brother was sexually abusing her.

Now 19, the woman says her brother, three years older than she, began sexually abusing her in the mid-1980s. In 1988, she says, her family sought counseling by church elder Kerry W. “John” Landers and told him of the assaults.

“Despite this knowledge and/or suspicion, Landers was instructed by the national Jehovah’s Witness organization to handle the matter in-house rather than report such sexual abuse to the authorities, as required by Texas law,” according to the lawsuit, filed by attorney John T. McDowell:

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