Mormon church: Sex abuse lawsuit belongs in federal court
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormon church attorneys argued Monday that a lawsuit accusing religious officials of not doing enough to protect four Navajo children from sexual abuse in a now defunct church-run foster program belongs in federal court because the alleged incidents occurred off tribal land.
U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby heard nearly three hours of arguments Monday about whether to keep the case in tribal court. Shelby said he'll issue a ruling at a later date.
The alleged victims say they were sexually abused between the 1960s and early 1980s in the Indian Student Placement Program, which placed thousands of Navajo children in Mormon foster homes in Utah, Idaho and New Mexico.