A District Attorney in Oklahoma has filed a motion alleging that the Jehovah’s Witness organization, “most especially the governing body of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses,” were involved in concealing child molestation crimes.
It was revealed in news reports at the time that police were investigating whether elders were complicit in helping to conceal Lawrence’s hideous crimes from the authorities. Now it seems evidence may have been uncovered – with culpability being alleged to stretch right to the very top of the Watchtower hierarchy.
On January 28 the local District Attorney filed a motion declaring that the State will give evidence that child molestation crimes were concealed, not just by Lawrence, but by the “entire church body,” including the Governing Body.
According to this motion, “the actions of the church, their banishment of (Lawrence) on one or more occasion and the directives of the governing body toward the victims and their family members regarding these crimes were actions of ‘concealment’ and further actions preventing the victims from reporting the crimes to law enforcement.”
It was back in November that Lawrence was charged in Pittsburg County District Court with 19 felony counts, including 11 of lewd molestation, seven of forcible sodomy and one count of rape by instrumentation. Court documents reveal a litany of horrendous abuses, including the violation of one victim with a wooden spoon.
An affidavit filed in the case claims that Lawrence told police he had confessed his crimes to at least four elders in order to be reinstated back into the congregation in 2005 following his previous disfellowshipping.
Shortly after his arrest, Lawrence was released from jail after posting a $50,000 bond. A condition of the bond is that he is not allowed contact with any of his alleged victims.
Now, with the filing of this new motion, the Governing Body faces the hitherto unimaginable prospect of being forced to appear as defendants in court over alleged collusion to conceal criminal activity.
A court date has yet to be set.
Lawrence’s attorney filed a motion in December stating that the charges should be thrown out because the statute of limitation had expired. But the District Attorney’s motion has responded by saying that this is not the case.
Why the silence?
Noteworthy is the organization’s refusal to cooperate in giving their own account of what happened in this case, with “several calls to the Jehovah Witness Church” by an investigating journalist going unanswered.
Thinking Witnesses will wonder how an organization that claims to have God’s backing could find itself accused in this way of opposing the “superior authorities” (Rom. 13:1,2), and why it refuses to take any steps to set the record straight if it is free of any guilt.
Indeed, how can the Governing Body claim to have a “fine testimony from outsiders” if they won’t even pick up the phone when accused of concealing crimes by a District Attorney? – 1 Tim 3:7
- DA: Jehovah Witness church concealed molestation crimes
- Church elder, 76, charged in 30 year old molestation case
- Jehovah’s Witness church elder Ronald Lawrence arrested over sex abuse claims dating back to 1980s
- Global Dispath article
- SNAP’s response
- JWsurvey article: Oklahoma police investigating whether elders failed to report serial pedophile
- JWsurvey articles on child abuse