was an LDS church member in Utah; accused of sexual abuse

Case Summary

LDS church member Jason Strong was accused of sexually abusing a 7 year old girl.

In 1986, [Jane Doe], 7-years-old, was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when she was sexually abused by Jason Strong, 14-years-old, who was also a Church member and attended her ward.

In 1992, [Doe] reported the incident to her mother and a school counselor.

[Doe] and her parents also reported the incident to their Church bishop, Dennis Casady, and stake president, David Christensen.

“Casady assured [Doe] and her parents that ‘he would act according to church protocol and resolve the situation.’” Casady and Christensen advised them to ““forgive, forget, and seek Atonement’ and urged her not to go to the police.”

[Doe] later asked Casady and Christensen to refer her to a licensed mental health professional, but they sent her to a non-licensed counselor who ‘“echoed the same words’ as those counseled by Casady and Christensen.”

[Doe] “decided the advice to ‘forgive’ and not inform the police was unsatisfactory and sought advice from a licensed counselor.”

After hearing [Doe]’s story, the counselor, also a Church member, made a report to the police.

The statute of limitations had elapsed, and the police were unable to pursue an investigation.

Casady chastised the counselor for making the report.

In 1998, [Doe] filed a civil complaint against Casady, Christensen, and the Church that alleged claims of “(1) clerical malpractice; (2) gross negligence; (3) negligent infliction of emotional distress; (4) breach of fiduciary duty; (5) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (6) fraud.”

In 1998, a Utah trial court dismissed the tort claims against the defendants.

[Doe] appealed, “arguing that the trial court erred in finding her tort claims barred by the First Amendment.”

The state’s Supreme Court in 2001 upheld the defendants’ claims of protection under the U.S. Constitution.

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.