October 31, 2022

Speaking of sad and depressing! Patriarchal religions invariably lead to sexual abuse of children, and no one religion has a monopoly on this. Large churches with rigid structures tend to make it easier to cover it up, though. Via ReligionNews.com:

(RNS) — Four Jehovah’s Witnesses have been charged with sexually abusing 19 children in their congregations, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced in a news conference Thursday morning (Oct. 27). The alleged crimes of the four defendants are separate, but all took place in Jehovah’s Witness communities in Pennsylvania. The charges include indecent assault, rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

“The cases that we are here to announce are deeply disturbing, the allegations hard to imagine, while all sharing one common tie,” Shapiro said at the news conference. “Most of these defendants used their faith and church to gain access to their victims to build their trust and then molested them.”

The charges are the result of a three-year investigation involving dozens of witnesses and hundreds of hours of grand jury testimony. The investigation began with a referral from a local district attorney’s office in 2019. Three of the defendants have been taken into custody — the fourth took his life when officers attempted to arrest him early Thursday, authorities said.

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