MARION COUNTY, Ore. (KTXL) -- An Oregon woman whose husband is in prison for sexually abusing a child is suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for reporting his confession to state authorities.
In the lawsuit, Kristine Johnson said her husband confessed his sexual abuse to clergy as required by church rules. That confession was passed along to state authorities, forming the basis of their investigation, she says.
She filed the lawsuit in Marion County Circuit Court last week and seeks $9.5 million for loss of income, emotional distress and her family’s loss of her husband’s companionship. The lawsuit, which argues the church went against its own policy that considers confessions confidential, also seeks an additional $40,000 for his criminal defense.
The church failed to advise the couple that if he followed the guidance and confessed his sins, it would report him to state authorities. The church should have warned her husband that his confession would not stay private, the lawsuit says.
Timothy Samuel Johnson, 47, was arrested in 2017 and is serving 15 years in prison in Pendleton, Oregon, for abusing an underage girl, according to the state Department of Corrections.