‘Mormon Land’: AP reporter of ‘Spotlight’ fame discusses his expose on sex abuse in the LDS Church

Besides a lack of reporting some of these cases to authorities, the Pulitzer-winning journalist points to document shredding and a lack of transparency by the Utah-based faith.

(Jonathan Short | Invision/AP) Reporter Michael Rezendes and actor Mark Ruffalo pose for photographers at the United Kingdom premiere of "Spotlight" in London in 2016. Rezendes, now with The Associated Press, recently reported on how sex abuse allegations were handled in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Earlier this month, an Associated Press investigation of several child sex abuse cases, including a particularly horrific one in Arizona, revealed that the much-debated “help line” supplied by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its lay leaders failed to protect the victims.

The expose brought responses of dismay, disgust and anger from insiders and outsiders alike — and the reverberations are still being felt.

AP journalist Michael Rezendes, who previously earned a Pulitzer Prize with The Boston Globe for uncovering the Roman Catholic Church’s pattern of covering up clergy sex abuse while part of the team dramatized in the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight,” joins us on this week’s show to talk about his latest story, how he came upon it, how he reported it and how it compares to his previous reporting on this sensitive subject.

(Elise Amendola | AP) Michael Rezendes, of the Associated Press, poses for a photograph in the AP bureau in Boston on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019.

Rezendes also talks about an astonishing amount of document shredding on sexual abuse — for instance, all records of calls to the help line, he reports, are routinely destroyed — within the Utah-based faith and points to a lack of transparency surrounding its handling of these cases.

Listen here:

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