Survivor's Case Against the Church of Latter-day Saints Can Continue
Most survivors of childhood sexual abuse do not come forward until well into adulthood. Survivors suffer immense trauma that impacts their entire life. Experts report that childhood sexual trauma often leads to an array of mental health issues that become ingrained barriers to a survivor’s ability to recognize and address the harm inflicted upon them. Those barriers also prevent survivors from recognizing and pursuing their legal rights.
For too long, institutions that harbored and protected their abusers used this against survivors and under the guise of statutes of limitations, those institutions avoided accountability, and with it the necessary introspection and hard work for meaningful and necessary cultural changes.
A few years ago, one survivor, abused for years nearly 60 years ago by a Latter-day Saints leader in New Mexico, suffered for decades in silence. Then, one day she found herself at a town hall for survivors of priest sexual abuse. Before she knew it, she was on her feet and beginning to tell her story. At that meeting, she met Paul Linnenburger, partner at Lane + Linnenburger + Lane. Together, they set out to hold the Church of Latter-day Saints accountability and get her the justice and validation she deserved.
As institutions so often do, the Church of Latter-day Saints tried to avoid accountability by pointing to the statute of limitations. This week, a federal court denied the Church's request to dismiss the case and ruled the case can proceed. One survivor’s quest continues.
Another example of how our lawyers continue at the forefront of child sex abuse survivor representation in New Mexico. Read the opinion below to see why.