PROVO (News4Utah)-After allegations surfaced, a former president of the Provo Missionary Training Center admitted he took a sister missionary into a private room and asked her to “show him her breasts”, police records show.
According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the matter was brought to their attention in 2010 when the victim told leaders of the Pleasant Grove Utah West Stake that she had been raped and sexually assaulted by the former MTC president, Joseph Bishop in 1984.
Police records show the victim told police Bishop took her to a small room with a bed, TV, VHS tapes and chair where they sat on a the bed and talked.
The victim told police at one point he tried to kiss her. She says when she resisted he ripped open her blouse, pushed her on the bed, and raped her.
The police reports says after the attack she left the room avoid Bishop and eventually served her mission.
The victim claims in 1988 she made multiple reports of the incident to the Church. The police report said she contacted the Church in 2010 to follow up with her reports.
The Church said the claims were reported to police but they received no further communication from officers on the matter.
“At the same time, the Church referred these allegations to the local ecclesiastical leaders of Joseph Bishop. Those leaders met with Mr. Bishop, who denied the allegations. Unable to verify the allegations, they did not impose any formal Church discipline on Mr. Bishop at that time,” a statement from the Church said.
The matter resurfaced in 2017 that’s when police interviewed the victim and Bishop. Then, just this week, the website MormonLeaks claims to have audio of the former mission president admitting to inappropriate interactions with women.
According to the 2017 police report, Bishop’s account was “fairly similar” to the victims “except the rape”. Bishop told officers he did take her to his small MTC preparation room, at which time he asked her to show him her breasts, the police report says.
When asked about the alleged rape police records say Bishop said “he either can’t remember it or that [she] was exaggerating her account”. He also said the room did not have a bed, TV or VHS tapes.
The case was passed on to Deputy Utah County Attorney David Sturgill. Sturgill said although he has no reason to doubt the victim but due to the expiration of the statute of limitations the case is now closed.