On February 1, 2016 the LDS Church re-released a media statement originally released in 2013 entitled “Effectiveness of Church Approach to Preventing Child Abuse.” In this press release (authored by Kirton & McConkie partner and LDS 1st Quorum of the 70 member Elder Von G. Keetch) the LDS Church claimed that “no religious organization has done more” to prevent child abuse, and touted their child abuse approach as “the gold standard” amongst all churches.
Immediately the Mormon Internet exploded with the stories of past and present victims of LDS-related sexual abuse, expressing sadness, frustration, feelings of invalidation, sickness, and (at times) horror over the church’s statement/claims. For a few examples, see here, here, and here.
In this two-part episode of Mormon Stories Podcast we interview Matt Long — a criminal defense and victim’s rights attorney who has considerable experience prosecuting and defending perpetrators of child abuse in Arizona — many of which were within the LDS church system. Over three hours Matt discusses:
- The methods of child abusers (including within the LDS context),
- Matt’s experience prosecuting (and defending) child/sex abusers in Arizona (many of whom are/were LDS),
- His interactions with LDS law firm Kirton | McConkie, and
- His reactions to the LDS Church’s recent media release wherein it claims that “no religious organization has done more” to prevent child abuse, and touts its child abuse approach as “the gold standard” amongst all churches.