was a Mormon church member and home teacher in Beaverton, Oregon; a victim filed a $55.7 million lawsuit against the Mormon church saying Johnson had sexually molested him when Johnson was his home teacher; the alleged sexual abuse took place as often as twice a week for two years between 1987 and 1989

Case Summary

FLOODLIT is working on updates to the information in this case report.

A settlement may exist in this case.

Ken Johnson was a Mormon church member in the Beaverton, Oregon Second Ward in the late 1980s.

” Man Sues LDS Church Claiming Abuse By Home Teacher
Associated Press/April 3, 2006

Portland, Oregon — An man who claims he was abused by a home teacher from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is suing the church for at least five million dollars.

The unnamed plaintiff accused home teacher Ken Johnson of regular and repeated sexual abuse from 1986-1988 in Beaverton.

Mormon church spokeswoman Kim Farah, at church headquarters in Salt Lake City, says church leaders learned of the incident in 2001.

She says they reported it to authorities, who declined to prosecute because so much time had passed.

She said counseling was offered to the victim and Ken Johnson was excommunicated in January 2002. Excommunicated Mormons can attend services but are barred from church positions of responsibility and from the sacraments. ”

04/01/89 Portland, Oregon

LDS Kenneth L Johnson Jr., “allegedly abused a Beaverton Boy twice a week from 1987- 1 989.” A lawsuit is filed against the LDS Church. The victims feel the Church is responsible.” ” The $45 million sex abuse lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be mediated by a judge in an effort to reach a settlement instead of going to trial. ”

“According to the Plaintiff, nicknamed D.L. for anonymity, Johnson was acting as an agent of the LDS church through its home teaching program, thereby making the church vicariously liable for the damages that Johnson caused under the doctrine of respondeat superior.8 The LDS church denies that Johnson was acting as its agent, instead stating that he visited the home as a family friend.”

The Amended Complaint filed by the Plaintiff argues that, “While working in the second ward of the Beaverton Stake, and for the purpose of furthering his assigned duties as a Home Teacher, Johnson identified Plaintiff’s family as with adolescent or teenage boys; befriended the Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s brother, and their family; gained the family’s trust and confidence as an educational and spiritual guide, and as a valued and trustworthy mentor to Plaintiff; gained the permission, acquiescence and support of Plaintiff’s family to spend substantial periods of time alone with the Plaintiff; and sought and gained the instruction of Plaintiff’s parents to Plaintiff that he was to have respect for authority and to comply with Johnson’s instruction and requests… The above course of conduct described…. is hereinafter collectively referred to as ‘Grooming’.. ..Johnson, while acting within the course and scope of his employment and agency using the authority and position of trust as a Home Teacher for the Defendants – through the Grooming process — induced and directed Plaintiff to engage in various sexual acts with him. …Johnson used the Grooming process to accomplish his acts of sexual molestation.

Johnson’s Grooming was (1 ) committed in direct connection and for the purpose of fulfilling Johnson’s employment and agency with the Defendants (2) committed within the time and space limits of his agency as Home Teacher (3) done initially and at least in part from the desire to serve the interests of Defendants; (4) done directly in the performance of his duties as a Home Teacher (5) was generally actions of a kind and nature which Johnson was required to perform as a Home Teacher; and (6) was done at the direction of, and pursuant to, the power vested in him by the Defendants.”

THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT at 2-4, D.l. v Corporation of Bishops of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, No. 0603-03429 (2007).

“The Complaint further claims that years later Plaintiff sought the counsel of the church
when he realized he had been damaged, and they offered him counseling and
advised him that the statute of limitations for pursuing the matter had past, a false
representation that Plaintiff claims was a knowing one.” Id. at 4-5. “

Sources
  1. Judge to mediate $45m sex-abuse suit against LDS Church
    view source details | 27 Jul 2007 | Salt Lake Tribune
Sources excerpts
  • Judge to mediate $45m sex-abuse suit against LDS Church
    Source type: Website
    Publisher: Salt Lake Tribune
    Date published/accessed: 27 Jul 2007
    archive 1 | archive 2

    Posted: 6:50 AM- PORTLAND, Ore. - A $45 million sex abuse lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be mediated by a judge in an effort to reach a settlement instead of going to trial.

    Kelly Clark, a Portland lawyer whose client is suing the Mormon church, says the mediation is set for Aug. 9 and 10.

    The dates were confirmed by Stephen English, a Portland attorney representing the church.

    If the case is not settled, a trial date has been scheduled for Oct. 18, Clark said.

    The lawsuit claims that a home teacher, Kenneth I. Johnson Jr., sexually abused a Beaverton boy as much as twice a week from 1987 to 1989.

    The church is responsible because Johnson was authorized to act on its behalf, giving him access to the boy, according to the complaint.

    The lawsuit claimed the duties authorized by the church included "educational and tutorial services, counseling, spiritual and moral guidance, religious instruction, and other duties" that would put Johnson "in a position of trust and confidence with LDS members and their children."

    Johnson has denied the allegations in court documents.

    English has said Johnson was acting as a family friend, not a church official.

    As part of the mediation agreement, the alleged victim - identified only by the initials "D.I." - has asked the church for reforms, Clark said Thursday.

    "My client is absolutely committed to achieving some changes in the child abuse policies of the church," Clark said.

    Clark recently won an Oregon Supreme Court ruling in a pretrial motion asking the church to disclose detailed financial information for the first time since 1959.

    The ruling could set the course for a larger legal battle over the rights of the church if a settlement is not reached, attorneys said.

    "We have a motion in which we're challenging the constitutionality of access to our confidential records," English said.

    Clark sought the ruling to determine if $45 million in punitive damages was a reasonable request.

Mormon Sexual Abuse Map

International map of locations where active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated sexual abuse or other sex crimes, or where LDS leaders failed or allegedly failed to help abuse survivors.