Montana Reverses “Mandatory Reporting” Ruling

Montana court reverses $35 Million Jehovah’s Witness case. Jehovah’s Witnesses held to be non-mandatory reporters. Watchtower reverses its fine. The Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously reversed $35 million in damages against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, ruling the church did not violate Montana’s mandatory reporting statute when it did not report child sexual abuse by a Thompson Falls congregation member to local authorities.

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JW Police Dispatcher / Elder Negotiates Plea in Sex Abuse Case

On September 20, 2019, the Fresno Bee reported that a 45-year-old Fresno, California Jehovah’s Witness pleaded “no contest” on Friday to charges he sexually assaulted a young girl from his church who was only 17 years old. The man was identified as Martin Phillip Ramos. An additional surprise was reported in the article: The accused worked as a “police dispatcher in Madera.”

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask Court to Reverse $35M Abuse Verdict

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS / Posted Sep 13, 2019 12:34 pm PDT /BILLINGS, Mont. — An attorney for the Jehovah’s Witnesses asked the Montana Supreme Court on Friday to reverse a $35 million verdict against the church for not reporting a girl’s sexual abuse to authorities. Last year, a jury awarded $4 million in compensatory damages and $31 million in punitive damages to a woman who said she was abused as a child in the mid-2000s by a member of the Thompson Falls Jehovah’s Witness congregation.

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JW Victims File Lawsuit Using New Victims Act in New York

The Zalkin Law Firm P.C. has filed a new lawsuit in New York on behalf of two childhood sexual abuse victims naming Jehovah’s Witness Governing Body members and other empowered and responsible individuals within the Watchtower organization as defendants. The Watchtower has a long history of defying court orders to produce pertinent documents and records.

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New York Post: Former Jehovah’s Witnesses Recount Years of Sex Abuse Ahead of Landmark Case

Two former Jehovah’s Witnesses claim the church looked the other way when they were sexually abused as children for years — and now plan to sue under a landmark state law that takes effect this week. Lawyers for Heather Steele, 48, and John Michael Ewing, 47, alleged at a press conference Monday that the Witnesses and its eight-member leadership council even maintain a database of church sex offenders that it’s kept secret. The two alleged victims now plan to fight back with separate lawsuits that will be filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Wednesday when the Child Victims Act goes into effect.

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Jailed JW Demands Watchtower Publications

Kristin Zambo, a reporter for the Rockford, Illinois Register Star, reported in late January 2019 that a county jail inmate filed a federal lawsuit to have the right to receive Watchtower literature and religious materials available to him on tablet computers. He filed the complaint in U.S. District Court naming just about everyone associated with the Winnebago County Jail as defendants.

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California: Sex Abuse Victims Support Accountability

The Sacramento Bee reported on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, that “A procession of sexual assault victims urged the California State Senate to pass a law requiring priests and other religious leaders to report child abuse, ending a legal exemption that allows them to keep information confidential if they learn it during confessions.”

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