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Sex abuse case against Mormon church leaders in West Virginia will go to trial

This Aug. 3, 2016 photo shows a 21-foot statue of the trumpeting Angel Moroni sits atop the new Mormon Temple, center, set to open near Logan Square in Center City in Philadelphia. The Mormon church is offering the general public a rare opportunity to tour its 152nd temple, a first of its kind in Pennsylvania. Regional membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown to more than 40,000 members in parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The growth prompted church leadership in 2008 to announce the temple plans. (AP Photo/Michael Sisak)

Martinsburg, W.Va. • A jury in West Virginia will hear the evidence against the Utah-based Mormon church in a lawsuit accusing local church officials of covering up allegations that the son of officials abused 12 children over more than five years.

The Journal reports that the lawsuit filed by children who were between ages 3 and 12 when they say they were sexually abused by Christopher Michael Jensen will go to trial Jan. 8 in Berkeley County. Jensen was sentenced in 2013 to 35 to 75 years in prison for sexually abusing two minors.

The lawsuit was initially filed in 2013, and accuses The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its leaders of covering up the abuse, enabling Jensen to commit further acts and trying to intimidate plaintiffs' families.

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