About Maynard McFarland
Personal information sources
- News 1 (archive)
- Court record 1 (archive)
- Conviction (archive)
- News 2 re: pretext call (archive)
- Archived news article 1, San Diego Union-Tribune (archive)
- Sister of the survivor woman who came forward (archive)
- Twitter - see source 2 below (archive)
- Twitter 2 - see source 3 below (archive)
- cbs8 (archive)
- San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA) Date: February 1, 2005 Page: B-2 Copyright 2005 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
- "Ooh, could we do one about my secret baptism because no one but the branch president and our home teachers knew that my father had been excommunicated for abusing us? The number of leaders who knew about the abuse but never reported it could be its own miniseries." - Twitter source 7 above
- "Five months ago, I shared my story of being assaulted outside a bishop's office. In that thread, I briefly mentioned my father's abuse and the subsequent cover-up but didn't go into any detail. I think, in light of the AP article, now might be a good time to do that. " - Twitter source 8 above
Maynard McFarland Mormon Sex Crime Case Summary
“On August 11, 2022, [McFarland’s daughter] filed a civil lawsuit naming her father and the San Diego chapter of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.”
Man says he molested girl for years – Abuse started in infancy, he admits
By J. Harry Jones
January 30, 2005
Publication: San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA)
Word Count: 648
A former San Diego man has admitted to police that he molested a young relative almost daily for years, beginning when the girl was still in diapers.
“There is no explanation,” 45-year-old Maynard McFarland told the victim, now 21, during a telephone conversation recorded by police in November.
“I allowed Satan to be my lord.”
McFarland, a former U.S. Customs inspector, will appear in San Diego Superior Court on Monday on four counts of child molestation. He faces a potential sentence of more than 50 years in prison if convicted of those charges.
Deputy District Attorney Catherine Stephenson said he must decide then whether to plead guilty in a plea bargain that would carry a significant, but undisclosed amount of prison time. Otherwise, she said in court recently, prosecutors are prepared to add many more charges to the complaint and proceed to trial.
Deputy Public Defender Angela Bartosik, McFarland’s lawyer, said she is unable to comment. She said the plea bargain is still being worked out.
Last month, following an investigation that began in August, McFarland was arrested in North Dakota where he worked as an inspector at the Canadian border. A spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said McFarland resigned in December after a 15-year career, much of which was spent as an inspector at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
According to court documents, following his arrest McFarland confessed to San Diego Police Detective Gregory Flood that he began molesting the girl when she was an infant.
It is the policy of The San Diego Union-Tribune not to name victims of sexual assault.
The investigation began Aug. 10 when the relative, now an adult living in another state, called the San Diego Police Department’s Sex Crime Unit. She said she had been molested from 1983 to 1994 when her family lived in San Diego, according to an affidavit filed in court in support of a search warrant.
“During subsequent interviews, (the victim) described a pattern of repeated molestations by Maynard,” the document states. “She believed the molestations began shortly after she was born. She can remember no time when the molestations actually started. She said they go back as far as her earliest memories.”
She said she remembers vomiting after some incidents of molestation.
The girl told police the molestation continued until she was 9 or 10 years old when her mother interrupted an incident. The mother had known about previous molestations, the document says, but none were reported to police.
“The McFarlands were a deeply religious family and preferred to handle the situation through church counseling,” the document states. Stephenson said she doesn’t know what type of counseling, if any, the family went through.
On Nov. 4, with the assistance of a Utah police detective, the girl called McFarland who had moved to Winnipeg, Canada, and accused him of “raping” her.
“Maynard repeatedly apologized for what he did and never denied any of the allegations,” Flood wrote.
At one point, the girl told McFarland she would rather have been murdered by him. He replied, “I’m so sorry. I know it’s going to be a challenge for you to accept the forgiveness that has to happen.”
Later, she asked him how he could have molested her “every night for ten years.”
“He never denies the allegations and instead replies, `There is no explanation . . . . I allowed Satan to be my lord,’ ” the document states.
McFarland is charged with just four counts of child molestation ranging over a period of four years from 1989 to 1993. Stephenson said earlier incidents cannot be charged because of the statute of limitations regarding such cases.
Stephenson said charges are not being considered against any member of McFarland’s church, because laws requiring members of the clergy to report known child abuse were not in effect at that time.
J. Harry Jones: (619) 542-4590; firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA)
Date: January 30, 2005
Copyright 2005 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Man, 45, pleads guilty to molesting girl repeatedly
By J. Harry Jones
February 1, 2005
Publication: San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA)
Word Count: 256
A former San Diego man pleaded guilty yesterday to molesting a girl several times here when she was between the ages of 5 and 9, in a plea bargain that spared him the possibility of hundreds of years in prison.
Instead, Maynard McFarland, 45, who according to court documents confessed to police to molesting the relative repeatedly, will be sentenced to between 12 and 32 years.
“Since this first came to light he has taken full responsibility,” defense attorney Angela Bartosik said after the hearing. “He hopes (the victim) can begin to heal.”
San Diego Superior Court Judge George “Woody” Clarke will sentence McFarland at a hearing scheduled for April 5. McFarland is being held in County Jail without bail.
Prosecutors agreed to drop additional molestation charges that they said stemmed from incidents that began in the girl’s infancy. The additional charges could have resulted in hundreds of years in prison.
The investigation began Aug. 10 when the relative, now an adult living in another state, called the San Diego Police Department’s sex crimes unit. She said she had been molested from 1983 to 1994 when her family lived in San Diego, according to an affidavit filed in court in support of a search warrant.
McFarland was arrested last month in North Dakota, where he worked as a U.S. Customs inspector at the U.S.-Canadian border. A spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said McFarland resigned in December after a 15-year career, much of which was spent as an inspector at the San Ysidro border crossing.
San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA)
Date: February 1, 2005
Copyright 2005 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
Maynard is quoted as telling the victim (his own daughter) in a phone call recorded by police in November 2004:
“I allowed Satan to be my lord.”
Per an affidavit:
“The McFarlands were a deeply religious family and preferred to handle the situation through church counseling …”
They were a devout Mormon family.
Despite the victim alleging that McFarland raped her “every night for ten years” (in her words), he ended up being charged with only 4 counts of child molestation, due to restraints caused by the statute of limitations in California at the time.
“[Deputy District Attorney Catherine] Stephenson said charges are not being considered against any member of McFarland’s church, because laws requiring members of the clergy to report known child abuse were not in effect at that time.”
Allegedly, Mormon church leaders in McFarland’s ward, at least his LDS bishop knew he was abusing his daughter, but didn’t report the abuse to police because it wasn’t legally required – and continued to let McFarland participate actively in church ceremonies and meetings, including baptizing his daughter.
My dad’s abuse started long before I was born. He and my mom were engaged a week after they met and married within a few months—not an uncommon story in Mormon circles. My grandparents made it clear that she was married now and not to return home for any reason.
She was alone with a physically and emotionally abusive husband, isolated, thousands of miles away from anyone she knew. She got good at keeping up appearances, pretending everything was fine. She had my two siblings and learned how to cover their bruises.
When I came along, a few years later, she still had no idea that my dad had been molesting my sister since the day she was born. Right after my sister turned 5, my mom caught my dad abusing her. He lied, said it was the first time. My mom, raised and sheltered by staunch LDS
parents who wouldn’t even say the word sex, had no idea such a thing was even possible. She immediately turned to the bishop, who believed my dad’s lies and did nothing. This allowed the abuse and rape to continue for four more years—my sister’s entire childhood.
When he was caught yet again, he was excommunicated from the church, but still unreported to the authorities. For those who don’t know, LDS disciplinary councils for priesthood holders require at least 18 other priesthood holders to be aware of the nature of the sin (or crime).
That is *at least* 18 men who knew what was happening in my family. And apart from stopping my dad from taking the sacrament and wearing his garments, not a single one lifted a finger to help us. I was too young to know what was happening, but getting out of that situation
when I was 5 would have drastically changed my life for the better. Instead, we stayed for 8 more years. The memories of the abuse during that time will be with me the rest of my life. And the list of LDS leadership that knew what was going on grew to the dozens.
When we finally did leave, my dad still had a financial hold over us—sending my mom child support checks taped inside of pamphlets telling us that not forgiving him was a worse sin than what he had done to us. Eventually, my sister, now an adult, decided to call the police.
It took the victim growing up, becoming an adult, and reporting him herself before he was finally arrested. My sister had more courage in her left pinky than those dozens of “inspired” LDS leaders. Those men failed my sister. The people in MJ’s life failed her.
Anyone who looks into the face of a child they *know* is being raped and does nothing is evil. I don’t care how many priesthood keys they think they hold. I know firsthand how @Chu_JesusChrist
deals with abuse. Say you care about victims all you want; your actions say otherwise.
Stop falling back on the clergy exemption to mandatory reporting. We see through it. You aren’t legally forbidden from reporting like you pretend—you just aren’t required to. Those are very different things. If you actually had integrity or cared about victims you would:
1. Get rid of the help line that directs bishops and SPs to church legal counsel, and instead instruct leaders in all capacities to report abuse to secular authorities immediately.
2. Actually provide resources—outside of LDS Family Services—to help victims get to a safe place.
3. If it doesn’t put the victim/family at more risk, acknowledge the abuse so members can protect their families and more victims can come forward.
4. Be transparent when it comes to leadership instruction. The handbook shouldn’t have to be leaked for members to be informed.
5. I have so many ideas about how LDS leadership can restructure itself to stop these things from happening, but I’m not an expert—so my main advice would be to create access to actual experts. Bishops are plumbers and dentists and next-door neighbors, not crisis workers.
6. Do better. So there are no more voiceless victims like me, like my sister, like MJ—who have to grow up and become our own voices. Be like the Christ you profess to worship and get the millstone off your neck.
Your story is so powerful. Thank you for sharing it with us. I’m so sorry for what you’ve all been through.
He was later charged with eight counts of Lewd Acts on a Child.
The following year, in 2005, he pleaded guilty to four felony counts and was sentenced to 32 years in prison.
In 2020, McFarland walked free from prison after serving less than half of his sentence. He now lives in Chula Vista and is listed as a “very low-risk” sex offender on the state’s website.
Now, Elizabeth hopes to hold the church accountable.
On August 11, 2022, she filed a civil lawsuit naming her father and the San Diego chapter of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.
“What we’re looking for in this lawsuit is some accountability, some responsibility to be taken by the church for all the things that they did wrong,” said Sam Dordulian, a former Los Angeles County prosecutor who now represents sex abuse victims. “Elizabeth could have been saved, gotten into therapy, and maybe that would have impacted her life. And she would have had a different life than what she ended up experiencing.”
Dordulian says the LDS Church and other religious institutions can no longer hide from failing to report sexual assaults to the police.
“Their response always is, ‘we have nothing to do with it. We can’t stop a perpetrator like this from doing these bad things.’ That’s utterly untrue, says Dordulian.
“All they had to do with all the knowledge and information they had is simply call the authorities. Or at least at a minimum, don’t tell the mom not to call the authorities. Let her go and report so somebody can give Elizabeth the help that she desperately needed.”
The Church Responds LDS Church Says It Is Working to Prevent Abuse
In response to the lawsuit, a spokesperson for the Latter Day Saints told CBS 8, “Our hearts ache for victims of abuse, and the Church is committed to addressing incidents of abuse wherever they are found. ”
The spokesperson said, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind and works actively to prevent abuse.”
As for Elizabeth’s complaint, the church “is still reviewing this complaint regarding abuse that occurred more than two decades ago, but disputes the allegations that Church leaders advised the family not to report the father’s abuse to authorities.”
That complaint will make its way through the court system.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth says she still has a long road to recovery if she can truly reach that goal.
“I’ve spent a very long time suppressing my emotions around it. Sometimes, I catch myself smiling or laughing when I talk about it because it is hard to connect to the trauma of it,” said Elizabeth.
“I’ve spent so long trying to suppress it. But it has if it has affected every aspect of my life almost daily. It’s just it has affected me to my core. And I am still working to undo the damage.”
Warning: This story contains graphic accounts of the sexual abuse of a minor. Some of the details are disturbing.
Elizabeth P says her father, an elder at a San Diego-area chapter of the Mormon Church, told her that he became sexually aroused the first time he held her as an infant.
Sexual abuse by her father, who served at a ward in Lemon Grove, is all she ever knew from the days after she was born in 1983 to when she was a teenager.
Her father, Maynard McFarland, was convicted of molesting his daughter and spent 15 years in a California prison. He was released in 2020 and now lives in a small home in Chula Vista.
Now, Elizabeth wants answers. She says she wants to know why local church leaders in Chula Vista willingly turned a blind eye, discouraging her and her mother from going to the police after her mother caught her orally copulating with him at just five years of age.
Elizabeth is one of many victims of child sex abuse around the country who are now attacking the policies and procedures that they say religious institutions, including the Latter Day Saints, use to dissuade victims from going to authorities in hopes of fending off negative publicity. Many of the accounts are mirror images of the abuse and the alleged failure by local church leaders to report it to authorities.
Elizabeth, like other victims, says instead of action, church leaders told her father to read more scripture and go to counseling, essentially allowing the abuse to continue unabated for 13 years.
Elizabeth – CBS 8 does not use the full name of those sexually assaulted as minors – hopes to get those answers through a lawsuit she has filed against the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints. In her lawsuit, Elizabeth claims the church is responsible for not reporting the abuse when they discovered it and for failing to ensure her safety as well as the safety of other potential victims.
Now, nearly two decades after the abuse, after years of self-harming behavior, cutting herself, and attempts at suicide in an effort to suppress what she has gone through, Elizabeth says she is still haunted by statements her dad made to her about his desire for young girls.
“My dad knew his predilection long before he was even married to my mom. He admitted that he had molested a girl when he was a teenager,” said Elizabeth. “I don’t know how old the child was or who the child was, but that’s what he told us.”
“He knew even before I was born that he couldn’t have a girl. He would tell my mom, ‘we’re having a boy; we are having a boy.’ He would not hear anybody talk about possibly having a girl because he absolutely knew that if he had a girl, then he would molest her. He admitted this as I got older that he knew as soon as I was born that it would happen.”
The Abuse “The fact that his priesthood leader knew what he was doing, and just allowed him to baptize me. I can’t…”
“My very earliest memories are of abuse. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t being abused by him. He started abusing me as soon as they brought me home from the hospital,” Elizabeth told CBS 8 in a September interview.
“I didn’t even know that it didn’t happen in other houses, that daddies and daughters didn’t show each other that that was how they love each other. When I got older, he used the teachings of the Church to get me to comply. He would say things like; this is how daddies and daughters show that they love each other. He would say that Jesus wants us to love each other. And I needed to show him that I loved him, so I did.”
The first time that Elizabeth’s mom went to church leaders to report the abuse was shortly after she found a five-year-old Elizabeth performing a sex act on her father at their home.
“I thought I was in trouble. I didn’t understand I did not understand why she was so mad. I thought I had done something wrong, and I was in trouble because she just started screaming, and I remember running and hiding,” said Elizabeth.
Elizabeth says her mother did the only thing she knew to do; go to priest-holders to seek guidance. Elizabeth says they told her mom not to report the issue to the police and that they would handle it through the church.
The elders, says Elizabeth, ordered her father to go through church counseling and to read more scripture. The church leaders also ordered Elizabeth’s mother to work on the couple’s relationship so that the abuse would not continue.
Less than a few days passed before the abuse continued, said Elizabeth.
“It didn’t stop there,” she said. “There was no period of, like, rest, in between. It started up again; it just continued.”
For the next five years, Elizabeth says, not only did the abuse continue, but it intensified.
“It progressed and was a much more violent experience, and I was older, and the older I was, the more I realized that what was happening was wrong, and I wanted it to stop.”
During that time, Elizabeth grappled with her devotion to her father and her dedication to the church.
“My dad was the one who baptized me at eight years old, when he had probably molested me the night before. I watch that home video of myself on what was supposed to be the most special day of my life at the time.” Video provided by Elizabeth through her attorney.
“Thinking back on the things that he was doing to me, the most horrific, depraved acts that a person could possibly do to a child, and then appear before everyone the next day as if nothing happened. It makes my blood boil. The fact that his priesthood leader knew what he was doing and just allowed him to baptize me. I can’t…”
When she was ten years old, her mother caught her husband once again molesting their daughter.
Again, Elizabeth’s mother went to church leaders with nearly an identical result.
Church leaders in Chula Vista decided to ban McFarland from taking the sacrament. He was still allowed to attend and participate in church and vote on church measures, but he was no longer allowed to partake in the sacrament until he repented for his sins.
Meanwhile, at home, the rape and sodomy did not stop.
Instead, Elizabeth says the same church leaders she and her mother told about the molestation asked McFarland to become a troop leader for the chapter’s Boy Scouts troop.
In 1993, the family moved from Chula Vista to Minnesota, where Elizabeth’s grandparents lived.
Elizabeth says the assault turned more psychological than physical as she got older.
“There was still sexual abuse,” said Elizabeth. “It wasn’t quite as severe as it was when I was younger. But it as I got a little bit older, there was a shift, especially after I hit puberty. I don’t know if he was afraid he’d get me pregnant or what, but there was a shift.”
Elizabeth Goes to Police “Elizabeth Faces Her Abuser As SDPD Listens On”
Days after turning 21, Elizabeth said she decided to call the San Diego Police Department to report her father.
She says she wanted to reclaim what was taken by her father and by her church.
“The indoctrination runs so deep. It just blinds you to any fault or any flaw that the church could possibly have. I didn’t realize that they were hiding my father from the authorities until I was able to take a step back. I was finally able to ask, ‘How is this right? How is it right, that so many people knew what was happening, and just let it happen?”‘
San Diego Police asked Elizabeth to call her father and get him to admit that he molested her.
ELIZABETH: “You don’t remember anything?”
McFARLAND: “Yes, of course, I remember things, but I don’t remember everything.”
ELIZABETH: “What do you remember? It’s really hard for me to get past this. At times, I think that you don’t even care and that you don’t even think that you did anything wrong…”
ELIZABETH: “Do you remember when mom caught us?”
McFARLAND: “The first time? Sure.”
ELIZABETH: “How old was I?”
McFARLAND: “I don’t remember…”
ELIZABETH: “Come on, Dad…”
McFARLAND: “I honestly don’t remember…”
During the taped phone call, Elizabeth recalls one occasion when she was abused.
“I was probably like eight years old. I knew what you were going to do to me and I came up and I said daddy I don’t want to do this…
“You said, ‘Well, I guess if you don’t love me, I guess if you don’t like your father then you don’t have to do it and you tried to get up and I did it for you anyway.”
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Online sources excerpts
- From McFarland's daughter Jennie Stevens (https://twitter.com/jennietheeditor), submitted Dec. 5, 2022: Born October 26, 1959 in Iowa. Birth name: Maynard Scott, goes by Scott. Grew up in Minnesota. Graduated high school; no higher education. Converted to the LDS church around 1979-1980. Temple marriage took place in March 1981 in Oakland, California. Spent several years on the US Naval base on Guam. Son (1982) and daughter (1983) were born. Sexual abuse of daughter began. Moved to San Diego, California. Second daughter (1988) was born. Abuse first discovered by spouse in September 1988. Scott and spouse went to bishop, advised to stay together. Began to work for US Customs. Abuse continued for five years, rediscovered in 1993, leading to excommunication. 1994: Moved to Minnesota. Abuse lessened, but continued. Local leaders informed of excommunication and continuing abuse. 1999: Moved to Winnipeg, Canada. Local leaders informed of excommunication and continuing abuse. 2001: Spouse moves to Utah with two daughters/victims, files for divorce. Son goes on LDS mission. 2004: Victim calls California police, who work with Scott's employer (US Customs inside the Winnipeg airport) to arrest him on US soil. Arrested December 14, 2004. Charged with many counts of LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE BY FORCE OR FEAR. Arranged a plea deal to bring it down to four counts, pleaded guilty, and in summer 2005 was sentenced to 32 years in prison. Spent final 10 or so years in a hospital prison after heart surgery. Released in 2020 after serving less than half his sentence. - -
Other sources excerpts
- From McFarland's daughter Jennie Stevens (https://twitter.com/jennietheeditor), submitted Dec. 5, 2022: Born October 26, 1959 in Iowa. Birth name: Maynard Scott, goes by Scott. Grew up in Minnesota. Graduated high school; no higher education. Converted to the LDS church around 1979-1980. Temple marriage took place in March 1981 in Oakland, California. Spent several years on the US Naval base on Guam. Son (1982) and daughter (1983) were born. Sexual abuse of daughter began. Moved to San Diego, California. Second daughter (1988) was born. Abuse first discovered by spouse in September 1988. Scott and spouse went to bishop, advised to stay together. Began to work for US Customs. Abuse continued for five years, rediscovered in 1993, leading to excommunication. 1994: Moved to Minnesota. Abuse lessened, but continued. Local leaders informed of excommunication and continuing abuse. 1999: Moved to Winnipeg, Canada. Local leaders informed of excommunication and continuing abuse. 2001: Spouse moves to Utah with two daughters/victims, files for divorce. Son goes on LDS mission. 2004: Victim calls California police, who work with Scott's employer (US Customs inside the Winnipeg airport) to arrest him on US soil. Arrested December 14, 2004. Charged with many counts of LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS WITH A CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE BY FORCE OR FEAR. Arranged a plea deal to bring it down to four counts, pleaded guilty, and in summer 2005 was sentenced to 32 years in prison. Spent final 10 or so years in a hospital prison after heart surgery. Released in 2020 after serving less than half his sentence.
Source familiar with the case
Videos: Maynard McFarland Mormon sex crime case
- Video title: Lawsuit: Mormon Church leaders in San Diego turned a blind eye to a report of molestation
- Video description: "Elizabeth P says her father, an elder at a San Diego-area chapter of the Mormon Church, told her that he became sexually aroused the first time he held her as an infant.Sexual abuse by her father, who served at a ward in Lemon Grove, is all she ever knew from the days after she was born in 1983 to when she was a teenager.Her father, Maynard McFarland, was convicted of molesting his daughter and spent 15 years in a California prison. He was released in 2020 and now lives in a small home in Chula Vista." - CBS 8 San Diego
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