A lawsuit filed in Salt Lake City’s federal court on Wednesday alleges sexual abuse and a cover up involving family members of the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
FOX 13 is reporting that the lawsuit lists six unnamed plaintiffs, identified as “Jane Doe” and “John Doe” and two unnamed defendants. Brenda and Richard Miles, who are the daughter and son-in-law of LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson, are those unnamed defendants and they vigorously deny the allegations, according to their attorney.
FOX 13 spoke with some of the plaintiffs, agreeing not to use their names.
"Victims need to be listened and heard and have a voice. I think now there’s a chance some members of the Mormon community will believe us. I’m certain there’s some who will not because of who the defendants are," said a woman referred to as "Jane Doe 2," who alleges she was sexually abused as a child.
The lawsuit alleges that a man identified in court documents as the "Perpetrator" sexually abused his children in 1985. It also says a 16-year-old babysitter was both victimized and victimized others. The suit then accuses Brenda and Richard Miles of abuse.
“DOE 1 MALE DEFENDANT and DOE 2 FEMALE DEFENDANT led what they called ‘touching parties’ at their home and at the Perpetrator’s home. These ‘touching parties’ were sometimes attended by acquaintances and friends of Defendants and Perpetrator,” the lawsuit reads.
Richard and Brenda Miles' attorney said they deny the accusations and want the lawsuit dismissed immediately.
"There’s no truth to these allegations. The Miles did not abuse these children or anyone else," Jim Jardine told FOX 13 on Wednesday. "To do so would be out of their values, their belief system and their character."
Jardine said Bountiful police investigated these allegations in 1980s and concluded they were baseless. He suggested a therapist gave these "false memories.”
The LDS Church issued a statement: “Protecting and nurturing children is important to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we handle issues of this nature with the utmost seriousness. These allegations of interference or coverup are baseless and offensive. Law enforcement investigated this matter in the 1980s and took no action against the church or its leaders. We will continue to act responsibly and appropriately in addressing these matters.”
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