SALT LAKE CITY – The Mormon church said Friday it is investigating a second allegation of sexual assault against a former missionary leader dating back to the 1980’s and vowed to bring accountability” for what has occurred.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not to say in his statement if disciplinary action will be taken against Joseph L. Bishop. At the time of the allegations, that he held an important position of authority over hundreds of young Mormons as president of the missionary training center in Provo, Utah.
The religion says that it is investigating statements made by the Bishop in a secretly recorded conversation with the first alleged victim was made public this week, and in a police interview that was released this week about her complaint.
In the recorded conversation in December, Bishop acknowledged killing a woman and described it as a back-rub that says he got “playful.”
The church said that the woman reported the abuse to local leaders in 2010, but no action was taken after he denied the allegation. The leaders of the church, on condition that the woman with emotional support and professional guidance, ” the statement said.
It is unclear who the woman is, if she has a lawyer or if they filed a police complaint.
The son of the bishop, Greg Bishop said earlier this week his father denies any wrongdoing in the incident.
Greg Bishop, a lawyer, not immediately return a text message and e-mail from The Associated Press on Friday.
He said Wednesday that his father gave the second woman, who lived with the family during a difficult period of her life, a back rub at her request, but quickly realized that it wasn’t a good idea.
Joseph Bishop said that the police investigation of a rape claim of the first alleged victim that he asked her to expose herself, but he denied raping her. When the police asked him to explain why his account about the rape differed from the woman, the Bishop said: “he can’t remember or that (the woman) was exaggerating her account.”
Bishop is heard, apologizing for the first alleged victim during the conversation that she secretly recorded him while posing as a reporter doing a story about the Mormon leaders. He does not say what happened hear. The recording was this week by the website MormonLeaks, a church watchdog.
Craig Vernon, an attorney for the first alleged victim, said his client never exposed himself and that the Bishop has been robbed of her blouse and raped her. He said that she is prepared to sue the church and the Bishop if they can’t reach a settlement.
Church officials offered a strong show in the new statement Friday about an incident that has led to questions about the past types of processes of the allegations.
“We share the anger and sorrow of the members of the church and others feel to learn of incidents where those who are entrusted with the sacred responsibilities of violation of the commandments of God and harm others. Such behavior is repulsive and sinful.”