LDS Church calls behavior ‘repulsive,’ acknowledges possible second victim of sexual abuse


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement about sexual assault allegations against a man who previously served as the president of the Missionary Training Center.

Joseph Bishop former president of the Provo Missionary Training Center is accused of sexual assault in 1984.

The LDS Church said the accusations had been brought to its attention in 2010. The Church said the claims were reported to police, but they received no further communication from investigators on the matter. 

The website MormonLeaks claims to have audio of Bishop admitting to inappropriate interactions with women

This week, a report from BYU police was released which also appears to include an admission of sexual misconduct

The LDS Church issued an updated statement Friday, March 23, 2018 after the police report surfaced: 

“We share the anger and distress Church members and others feel to learn of incidents where those entrusted with sacred responsibilities violate God’s commandments and harm others. Such behavior is repulsive and sinful. The Church is looking into all aspects of the assertions on the recording of Joseph Bishop. This includes the work of outside legal counsel, who are interviewing priesthood leaders, family members, law enforcement officials and others with knowledge of these incidents.

We are aware of one other woman (who is referenced in the December recording) who informed her local ecclesiastical leaders that she was sexually abused by Joseph Bishop while he served as president of the Missionary Training Center. When she reported the alleged abuse to her local Church leaders in 2010, they provided emotional support as well as professional counseling services. Mr. Bishop’s local ecclesiastical leaders were contacted and they confronted him with her claims, which he denied, and local leaders did not feel they could pursue church discipline for Mr. Bishop.

On Wednesday, the Church, along with media outlets, received the unredacted police report from BYU Police, which included an admission of inappropriate sexual conduct. We are committed to bringing accountability for what has occurred.

Sexual abuse cannot be tolerated in the Church. We continue to urge our leaders to take reports of abuse very seriously. Leaders should call the Church’s abuse helpline, which has been established to assure that victims are cared for and that abuse reporting laws are strictly obeyed.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call the toll-free Statewide 24-hour Sexual Violence Crisis and Information Hotline at Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-421-1100.

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