was an LDS church member and Boy scout leader in Kent, Washington; accused of sexual abuse in the 1970s; court records show that two Mormon bishops knew about the abuse allegations but did not tell police

Case Summary

This case arose in 1970 in Washington.

Jack LaHolt was a Mormon church member and scout leader in Washington in the 1970s. He was removed from scouting and referred to sexual deviancy therapy at LDS Social Services for one year, then later returned to the Scouts and was promoted again to scoutmaster of his former troop. Two Mormon bishops knew about sex abuse allegations against LaHolt, but failed to report to law enforcement authorities.

The following information if under review by FLOODLIT.

LDS Jack Laholt (aka Loholt) “This action arises from sexual abuse suffered by plaintiff at the hands of Jack LoHolt in the early to mid-1970s. At that time, Mr. LoHolt was a member of the Mormon church in the Kent 2nd Ward. Mr. LoHolt held several leadership positions within the church at various times throughout the 1970s.

In 1971, church member, and later Bishop, Richard Pettit informed the then-Bishop of the Kent 2nd Ward, Randall Borland, that Mr. LoHolt had abused his son while on a Boy Scout campout, at which Mr. LoHolt was the Scout leader. In late 1972 or early 1973, Bishop Borland received another complaint that Mr. LoHolt had sexually molested children in the church’s Boy Scout program. Bishop Borland apparently confronted Mr. LoHolt, who denied the accusations, but admitted that he had been abusing three boys from the Allenbach family. During this time period, Mr. LoHolt had been residing in an apartment on the Allenbach property.

Shortly after Mr. LoHolt’s admission to Bishop Borland, Dr. Allenbach apparently learned of the abuse and asked Mr. LoHolt to vacate the premises. The record shows no evidence that anyone reported Mr. LoHolt to the authorities at that time. However, Bishop Borland temporarily removed Mr. LoHolt from the Boy Scout program and referred him for sexual deviancy therapy at LDS Social Services. Mr. LoHolt apparently remained in therapy at LDS Social Services for one year, where, he asserts, he was truthful about his actions and behavior. There is nothing in the record to indicate that LDS Social Services ever reported Mr. LoHolt to the authorities.

After Mr. LoHolt’s treatment ended, the Kent 2nd Ward allowed him to return to assisting with the Boy Scout program. Mr. LoHolt would supply transportation and would go on hikes and campouts with the boys. In October 1973, he was appointed as the Wards’ Assistant Venturer Leader working with Scouts age 14-16. In February 1974, Mr. LoHolt became the lead Scoutmaster of the Kent 2nd Ward. Mr. LoHolt admits that he continued to molest boys throughout this time period.

In 1973, Phillip Coleman had become the Bishop of the Kent 2nd Ward. Bishop Borland did not advise him of the previous complaints about Mr. LoHolt. However, in 1974, Bishop Coleman learned that Mr. LoHolt was abusing children. The record shows no evidence that Bishop Coleman reported the allegations to the authorities, or removed Mr. LoHolt from his duties within the church.”

Quote from Plaintiff:

“Ever since I was a teenager, I had thoughts of suicide, and I thought of -when I began to drive, I thought of, like, crashing into a truck or something. And so even to this day, I have thoughts of suicide and depression, anxiety. I’ve never been at my ~ I mean, we talked about my education. I’m very educated, I’ve shown that I can do super in school, but I’ve never – I think because of my personality, and whatever, I haven’t been able to work in the capacity to what I’m educated at. Never have really – realizing my full potential. Now I’m teaching and I’ve been teaching under contract for two years, and I love teaching kids, and I love the subject that I teach, but my last evaluation was not a stellar evaluation, based on maybe personality or communicating. I still – I still live at home, because I’ve – I find that a very protective atmosphere, with mom and dad. It’s safe. And I have significant anger problems, I think still – and still – I just have unresolved psychological conflicts, and I’m not – I just – it’s been my life, you know, that’s just how it has been for me ever since I can remember, since I was abused by Jack. . . .”

Six more boys file suit against the COP.”Plaintiffs and Amici respond that lifting the veil of secrecy on child sexual abuse is the primary method by which the child sexual abuse problem in our society will be reduced, minimized, or hopefully eradicated.” LAHOLT-Jack Laholt 5 Jack doe v the COP 5.pdf. (see all 7 documents regarding LAHOLT).

01/01/71 Seattle, Washington

LDS Jack Loholt (aka Laholt) “Plaintiff, R.K., was sexually molested by Jack Onefrey (a/k/a Jack Loholt) on multiple occasions. The molestations occurred at or near property owned by Herman Allenbach, D.D.S., a person plaintiff submits was an agent of the Mormon Church.

Prior to plaintiffs abuse, defendant The Corporation of the President of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (aka COP) was notified of Loholt’s abuse of children on at least three separate occasions. First, in January 1972, Scott Pettit advised his father, Richard Pettit of Onefrey’s abuse of him. Mr. Pettit immediately advised the then-Bishop of the Church, Randall Borland.

Mr. Pettit has testified, and it is believed that he will testify at trial, that he advised Bishop Borland of Onefrey’s abuse because he expected Bishop Borland to take some concrete action with respect to the knowledge. R.K. was abused after the Church was notified by Scott Pettit.

The second and third notifications occurred through Herman Allenbach, D.D.S. First, Dr. Allenbach was notified first by his own son, J.A Dr. Allenbach took no action. Dr. Allenbach received a second notification after R.K. ‘s first episode of abuse occurred (but prior to other instances of abuse) when R.K.’s parents advised Dr. Allenbach of the abuse of their son. Again, Dr. Allenbach took no action and

R.K. suffered additional instances of abuse. Jack Onefrey was a Melchesidek Priest, Assistant Scout Master and youth leader in the Kent 2nd Ward of the Mormon Church. Despite gaining knowledge that he was a pedophile, Church officials took no steps to remove Loholt from those position nor did the Mormon Church take any steps to protect potential victims of Loholt.”

03/01/71 Seattle, Washington

LDS Jack Laholt (aka Loholt), Another case is filed-“For the Court’s convenience, COP notes that plaintiffs allegation that defendant negligently failed to prevent sexual abuse is closely related to the plaintiffs claim in R.K. v. Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 04-2338 RSM (W.D. Wash.). R.K. v. COP was tried to a

jury before Judge Ricardo S. Martinez in October 2006 and is now on appeal. Both cases involve sexual abuse by the same individual during the 1970s. Some legal issues presented by the current case are identical to those Judge Martinez previously addressed in R. K.”

The case was removed from the Superior Court if Washington State to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. Laholt again was alleged to have abused another child. DF then brought a case against the COP which was removed to another court.

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Sources excerpts

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.