In our last newsletter we discussed the problem of child sexual abuse committed by bishops and other important leaders in the Mormon Church. Recently we received another letter from a woman reporting that she was abused by her father: "Some of your research is being sent to a related attorney regarding the Beckly W. VA. [case] Sad! My bishop father sexually abused me. I know about the damage."
Significantly, two other cases of sexual abuse involving prominent Mormons have recently come to light.
1–Lloyd Gerald Pond, 51, was originally charged with two counts of forcible sodomy on a 14-year-old girl he met at a Mormon ward. Pond was employed by the Mormon Church’s public-relations department and “hosted a weekly nationwide radio program that promoted Mormon values…” (Salt Lake Tribune, Feb. 4, 1997) Many people were publicly complaining that Pond would only get a slap on the wrist because he was a well-known Mormon. Fortunately, this turned out not to be the case. The Tribune reported: “Ignoring recommendations for probation, a 3rd District judge sent confessed child sex abuser Lloyd Gerald Pond to prison for up to 15 years.” Ironically, Pond’s radio work for the church included warnings “about the evils of child abuse and pornography…” (Ibid., Nov. 16, 1996)
2–The Idaho Falls Post Register reported the following on November 13, 1996: "A former state senator [Rex Furness] will be spending the next two months in jail for sexually battering his teenage granddaughter… Furness will serve 60 days in the county jail, starting next week, and seven years probation…
"He was also very active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, holding various titles, including bishop until he confessed the acts to his church and surrendered his temple recommend.
“What he did not say in court was that the charge against him forced him to resign from the state senate.”
LDS CHURCH WORKED TO SUPPRESS SEX-ABUSE STUDY
Web Posted: May 16, 1999
officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attempted to prevent publication of a study which reported on the experiences of Mormon women who were victims of childhood sexual abuse, and later turned to church officials for support. Professors Karen E. Gerdes and Martha N. Beck, then of Brigham Young University – an LDS institution – were prohibited from publishing their results, but the study appeared anyway in the Spring 1996 issue of Affilia, Journal of Women and Social Work.
Abused by a Mormon Bishop
Friday, October 17, 2003
** 90% of Provo rapes not reported to police
BYU officer tells women to raise their awareness
By Carrie Sheffield
Deseret Morning News
PROVO — More than 90 percent of rapes in the city go unreported, according to the lead rape investigator for the BYU Police Department. BYU officer Arnie Lemmon said only 43 rapes were reported last year in Provo, leaving the actual number of rapes estimated at more than 400 during 2002. Lemmon spoke to a group of women on the BYU campus Thursday night as part of a monthlong lecture series titled "What's Lurking in Utah Valley?" to raise awareness "The sexual predator is alive and well in this community as well as over the world," Lemmon told the women. "I don't want you to feel like this is Rapeville, USA, because it's not. . . . We try to do everything we can to combat it, but it happens." Four sexual assaults were reported on the BYU campus last year, and Lemmon said there is a rape reported nationally every 5.8 minutes. Lemmon said most Provo residents are religious and have a tendency to stigmatize discussion of sexual assault and sometimes to demonize the survivor.
Salt Lake City alone has 639 convicted sex offenders and Salt Lake City alone which is more than 95 % Mormon. Utah is about 75 % LDS.