The Daily Mail in the UK reports that a convicted pedophile near Melbourne, Australia is now working with children at a local Kingdom Hall. This report could open up a “can of worms” for both the former convict and the elders in charge of protecting the local children of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
This report makes us wonder if the Watchtower and Australian Jehovah’s Witnesses failed to learn any lessons during their 2015 hearings before the Royal Commission.
How and why would such an appointment be made so soon after a conviction? What are they thinking?
According to the news report, Richard Hill was accused of committing sexual offenses in 1981 with a female relative who was a minor at the time. At the moment Hill is reported to be acting in a leadership position for the Kingdom Hall. Exactly what his current assignment is was not disclosed in the news article. In most cases, any JW male with “privileges” would be acting as either an “elder” or “ministerial servant (helper).”
The Age newspaper reported that Richard Hill was found guilty only last year but is under police supervision. They know where he works and where he lives. The paper reports that what he does is being permitted by the authorities. That includes participating in the “door-to-door ministry.” (See our earlier articles on the case in Colorado Springs, Colorado USA.)
Here is another recent report on this case: LINK to Sidney Morning Herald
Here is a more expansive report on this case: LINK to www.Stuff.co.nz
Here is an earlier article describing this court case: LINK to Canberra Times.
What is distressing is that the news reports allege that Hill is being allowed to “door knock with children.”
The allegations of abuse by a female relative date back over 30 years ago. The victim claimed that she was “forced to sit on his lap and told to be quiet as he sexually abused her.” The victim is no longer a Jehovah’s Witness and she is being “shunned” for revealing the incident against the wishes of her family and the church.
The victim was worried that “…he could very easily do to others what he did to me.” She expressed her concern about having a convicted pedophile knocking on strangers’ doors to discuss religion.
The question at hand is whether “Brother Hill” is one of the pedophiles referred to during the hearings at the Royal Commission. Is he involved in one of the 1006 cases that were not reported to the police by Jehovah’s Witnesses? Why was his case only brought up recently? Why has he been rewarded with Kingdom Hall privileges so soon after his case was heard?