was a Mormon church member in the Salt Lake City, Utah area (including Holladay); pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in the 1990s; alleged coverup by Mormon leaders

George Tilson 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 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.

From 1966-2002 “the [Mormon church] received several complaints that Tilson was sexually abusing children within his ward. However, COP not only [allegedly] failed to do anything in response to these complaints, it [allegedly] actively concealed Tilson’s sexual abuse from its members and secular authorities. Moreover, COP [allegedly] allowed Tilson to continue to hold the positions of High Priest and scout leader.”

Sources
  1. Case History - 961900197
    view source details | 15 Aug 2023 | Utah Courts XChange
  2. source 1
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  3. source 3
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Sources excerpts
  • Case History - 961900197
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: Utah Courts XChange
    Date published/accessed: 15 Aug 2023
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    Source type: News article
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    Source type: News article
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    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. [2] George Tilson was also a member of
    the Church, and held the positions of "High Priest"[3] 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. [4] 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.

    --

    06/05/02 Utah

    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
    Scout leader.”

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