Reporter Dorian Hargrove of the San Diego Reader reported that a Superior Court judge has imposed a $4000 per day penalty against the Watchtower Society. He acted due to their refusal to produce court-ordered documents. The Jehovah’s Witnesses were responding to his order in a sex abuse trial involving a JW elder and a seven-year-old child. [Updated June 25, 2016]
Here is a portion of Hargrove’s report:
Judge sanctions Jehovah’s Witnesses
Imposes $4000-a-day penalty for not producing documents in sex-abuse case
By Dorian Hargrove, June 24, 2016
A San Diego Superior Court judge has ordered the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, to pay $4000 a day for every day that it fails to produce documents requested in a civil lawsuit brought by former parishioner, Osbaldo Padron, who claims a church elder sexually abused him when he was seven years old.
In a June 23 ruling, expected to be made final today, judge Richard Strauss admonished the church for willfully ignoring a court order to produce all documents associated with a 1997 Body of Elders letter that church leaders sent to parishes around the world in a quest to learn about sexual abuse of children by church leaders.
Hargrove reported that during the previous year the Watchtower’s lawyers did everything they could to keep one specific related document out of court, claiming that to submit a requested letter to the court “would infringe on the names and privacy of others.” Instead, they provided a heavily redacted copy of the letter – essentially making the document unreadable.
The judge also made it clear that the Watchtower clearly and obstinately chose to ignore the court’s prior order.
PDF copy of original article:
NEW!!! ADDED 06/25/2016! PDF of Judge’s Court Order for $4000 daily fine against Watchtower Society: Judge’s Order: $4000 Daily Fine