As part of a three-year investigation into the Jehovah’s Witnesses child sexual abuse policies, Reveal contacted the FBI, attorneys general in New York and California, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and several members of Congress, and found no indication of a government investigation.
We facilitated a day of candid discussions about ways to address the Jehovah’s Witnesses child abuse crisis with sources from across the globe.
The settlement came five days into a trial in which a former Witness claimed the religion’s parent corporation violated Pennsylvania’s child abuse reporting laws by instructing elders not to report her allegations to police.
For more than a decade, Deborah Stokes managed to operate a string of dangerous day cares around southern Alabama simply by claiming she ran a church. But no more.
The leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses has boldly defied court orders to turn over the names and whereabouts of alleged child sexual abusers across the United States.
A growing online petition calls for the end of “The God Loophole,” the patchwork of laws around the country that exempt faith-based day cares from licensing rules designed to protect children.
Florida is one of 16 states that grants certain freedom from oversight to religious day cares.
A man who ran an Alabama day care registered under a church’s name was convicted of sexual abuse. But the state Supreme Court later ruled that the church and day care weren’t connected.
An Alabama lawmaker has introduced a bill to license the more than 900 religious day cares in the state that currently operate without almost no government oversight.