was an LDS church member; sentenced in 1985 to five years' probation for sexually abusing two children, ages 4 and 7; a 2002 lawsuit against the LDS church accused Mormon leaders of providing a safe harbor for Young; as of 2024, lives in Ogden, Utah as a registered sex offender

Mitchell Young Case Summary

Mitchell Blake Young was an LDS church member and former missionary in Whitefish Bay area of Canada.

In 1980, the LDS church recalled him from his mission when they received reports he was sexually abusing children from a nearby tribe.

The LDS church failed to report Young to authorities.

Young was convicted in 1985 in Maricopa County, Arizona of sexual abuse of two children, ages 4 and 7. He was sentenced to 5 years probation.

In April 1988, Young pleaded guilty to charges of sexual misconduct with a group of four boys in the locker room of a Salt Lake City youth center.

In 1993, Young was sentenced to 15 years in the Utah State Prison for abusing a child from 1987 to 1992, when the child was 6-12 years old.

from the Salt Lake Tribune on 2002-07-02:

“A victim filed suit against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stating that the church protected the perpetrator.
The plaintiff, A. Doe, claims defendant Mitchell Blake Young abused him between 1987 and 1992, when he was 6 to 12 years old.”

“Young was convicted in 1993 and was sentenced to 15 years in Utah State Prison for the crime.”

“The suit also alleges church leaders knew Young had sexually abused children for more than a decade when he began abusing A. Doe.”

“The church has said it encourages members to report abuse to law enforcement and now has a system that flags the membership records of those with any reported child abuse complaints. The church also set up a toll-free number for leaders to report abuse.”

“According to the lawsuit, Gordon Young and the LDS Church knew of Young’s abuse of children as early as 1975. In 1975, Gordon Young received complaints that his son had abused neighborhood children in the Butler 20th Ward in Salt Lake County. And then in 1980, the church sent Young on a mission to the Whitefish Bay area of Canada, where the church received reports he was sexually abusing children from a nearby tribe, the suit said. The church recalled Young from the mission but failed to report him to authorities. Instead, he was “cured” through counseling and therapy, it said.”

“In 1985, in Maricopa County, Ariz., Young was convicted of sex crimes against two children, ages 4 and 7, and was sentenced to 5 years’ probation. The Butler ward Bishop James H. Woodward wrote a letter to the judge volunteering to monitor and supervise Young and urging against a prison sentence. The letter did not disclose the church’s prior knowledge of child abuse allegations against Young.”

“In 1986, Young met A. Doe’s mother, a single woman in the Butler 20th Ward. Gordon Young hoped to “cure” his son by marrying him to the woman, who had just immigrated to the United States, the suit alleged. Gordon Young told the mother his son was a religion instructor to gain her trust, the suit claims. Young was often left alone in his father’s Utah home with her children, and there he sexually abused the plaintiff, the suit alleges.”

“Although church leaders knew Young’s unsupervised contact with the plaintiff and his siblings was a violation of his Arizona probation, the contact was not reported according to the lawsuit.”

“In April 1988, Young pleaded guilty to new criminal charges of sexual misconduct with a group of four boys in the locker room of a Salt Lake City youth center. That information was deliberately concealed from the young mother by the Young’s and church leaders, and the abuse against her son continued, the lawsuit claims. The suit asks for unspecified damages.”

Sources
  1. Victim Sues LDS Church, Sex Abuser
    view source details | 2 Jul 2002 | Salt Lake Tribune
  2. Mitchell Blake Young
    view source details | 25 Sep 2023 | Offender Radar
  3. Sex-abuse victim sues molester and LDS Church
    view source details | 2 Jul 2002 | Deseret News
Sources excerpts

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