About George Tilson
George Tilson Mormon Sex Crime Case Summary
George Tilson was a Mormon church member in Utah.
In 1966, the LDS church received its first complaint about Tilson’s sexual criminal behavior, according to a civil lawsuit filed in 2002.
In 1995, Tilson sexually abused an 11-year-old girl in a hot tub.
In 1996, Tilson pleaded guilty to a 3rd degree felony charge of attempted sexual abuse of a child.
In 1997, Tilson was found to be in contempt of court for violating probation.
LDS George Tilson From 1966-2002 “the COP received several complaints. .that Tilson
was sexually abusing children within his ward. However, COP not only failed to do anything
in response to these complaints, it actively concealed Tilson’s sexual abuse from its
members and secular authorities. Moreover, COP allowed Tilson to continue to hold the
positions of High Priest and scout leader.”
If 1 Plaintiffs Jane Doe (Jane) and John Doe (John) appeal from the trial court’s order
dismissing their negligence claims against the Corporation of the President of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (COP or the Church) on the basis that Jane’s claim was
untimely and John’s claim was statutorily barred. We affirm.
If 2 For many years, Jane and her son John were members of the Church and regularly
attended a ward in the Salt Lake Holladay Stake.  George Tilson was also a member of
the Church, and held the positions of “High Priest” and scout leader within the Church.
If 3 Beginning in 1966 and continuing through 2002, COP received several complaints from
its members that Tilson was sexually abusing children within his ward.  However, COP not
only failed to do anything in response to these complaints, it actively concealed Tilson’s
sexual abuse from its members and secular authorities. Moreover, COP allowed Tilson to
continue to hold the positions of High Priest and scout leader.
If 4 Two of Tilson’s victims during the time period that he was alleged to have engaged in
child sexual abuse were Jane and John. In the summer of 1976, Tilson enticed Jane, who
was then thirteen years old, into his home where he fondled her under her clothing. Tilson
sexually abused John, Jane’s son, some time between 1993 and 1996 when John was
approximately five years old. John’s abuse also occurred in Tilson’s home after Tilson lured
him away from a neighbor’s yard where he was playing.
If 5 In the fall of 2001 , Jane learned of news reports that led her to believe that COP had
prior knowledge of Tilson’s propensities to sexually abuse children. Jane’s subsequent
investigation of these reports ultimately prompted her to file a complaint in June of 2002
against Tilson, alleging that he had sexually abused Jane and John, and against COP,
alleging negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and intentional infliction of emotional distress
arising out of Tilson’s alleged sexual abuse. In response, COP filed a motion to dismiss,
pursuant to rule 12(b)(6) of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiffs
filed a Notice of Constitutional Challenge to Utah Code Annotated section 78-12-25.1
( 2002 ).
If 6 On November 5, 2002, the trial court granted COP’s motion to dismiss. The trial court
dismissed Jane’s negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims on the basis that the
applicable statute of limitations had run. The trial court dismissed John’s negligence and
breach of fiduciary duty claims on the basis that section 78-12-25.1(5) allows an action for
negligently permitting sexual abuse to be brought against only “a living person.” The trial
court dismissed Plaintiffs’ claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress for the same
reasons it dismissed their other claims, and also because their claims were prohibited under
the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Finally,
the trial court rejected John’s claim that section 78-12-25.1(5) violated the open courts
provision of the Utah Constitution because no special relationship existed between COP
and John, and therefore, COP had no duty to protect John from Tilson.
If 7 In response to the trial court’s ruling, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. On May 5,
2003, the trial court dismissed the amended complaint for the same reasons it had
dismissed the original complaint. Plaintiffs timely filed their notice of appeal.
LDS George Tilson was in the court again for having abused yet another child, “a Salt
Lake County woman, claims Tilson, a convicted sex offender, sexually abused her in 1976
and molested her 5-year-old son nearly two decades later. LDS Church leaders allegedly
knew of the abuse, but failed to report it to the proper authorities.” A lawsuit was filed
against the LDS church.” “Tuesday’s 15-page filing describes Tilson as a “dangerous serial
predatory pedophile” who sexually abused at least 11 underage members of his Salt Lake
County LDS ward from 1963 to 1996, when he was convicted of abusing an 11 -year-old girl
in his hot tub. He served six months in jail after pleading guilty to attempted sexual abuse of
a child, a third-degree felony.” “Parents of Tilson’s victims allegedly reported the abuse to
various church leaders, including a Young Women’s president, a stake president, a bishop
and a stake high council member. But rather than report the abuse, the suit states, LDS
church officials continued Tilson’s church appointments and allowed him to serve as a Boy
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