By Margaret Carrero
Another religious leader is being accused of sexually molesting young boys — and this time — the Mormon Church is under fire.
On Monday, three brothers named the Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts of America in the Bay Area city of Sunnyvale in a lawsuit, claiming they were sexually abused as children in the late 70s and 80s.
One of the brothers decided to file suit after their alleged abuser, William Eugene Knox, now 65, moved into his hometown.
Attorney Kelly Clark says “…that got him really stirred up and he started thinking and talking about his childhood abuse.. he started working with a counselor and one thing lead to another and he decided that he needed to get this secret out.”
Clark says Knox, a leader in the Mormon Church and a Boy Scouts Master, worked his way into the boys’ lives knowing their mother was divorced “…Knox comes along and he’s a big wig in the local church… he played a profound role in these kids’ lives… at some point he began dating their mother… some significant time after the abuse began is when he married their mother.”
The lawsuit claims the boys were molested from the time the younest boy was seven and the oldest was 12 and continued for at least seven years.
The suit also alleges that leaders of the Mormon Church were made aware of the alleged abuse back in 1983, but it was never reported to law enforcement authorities.
While the statute of limitations has passed to criminally charge Knox for the alleged abuse, Clark says the brothers came forward to help prevent child abuse, to help themselves heal and to have the Mormon Church “acknowledge and accept resposibility for what happened to them.”