Lawsuit accuses Mormon Church of failing to protect Navajos

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – Two Navajo siblings are suing the Mormon Church, alleging they were sexually abused during their time in a church program that placed them with foster families in Utah.

The lawsuit seeks written apologies, unspecified damages, changes in church policy and the creation of a task force to help address cultural or social harm to Navajos. It was filed Tuesday in Navajo Nation court.

Representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not immediately return messages Thursday seeking comment. The church’s website says it doesn’t tolerate child sexual abuse and voluntarily tracks members who harm children.

Billy Keeler, who is representing the siblings, says at least two church program leaders were alerted to abuse in the late 1970s and early 1980s but failed to protect the siblings.

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