SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on a former Mormon missionary leader accused of sexual assault (all times local):
An attorney for a woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by a former Mormon missionary leader in 1984 in Utah says her client never willingly exposed herself, but was raped.
Lawyer Craig Vernon said Thursday the 85-year-old Joseph L. Bishop must have been confused when he told police in December that he asked the woman to expose herself. The police report released Wednesday says that Bishop denied raping her.
Vernon says his 55-year-old client stands behind her story and is prepared to sue Bishop and the church if they’re unwilling to reopen settlement discussions that ended when a conversation she secretly taped with Bishop was made public.
In that recording, Bishop is heard apologizing to her but doesn’t say what happened. The recording was made public this week by the website MormonLeaks, a church watchdog.
A newly released police report reveals that a former Mormon missionary training center president under investigation by church officials on sexual assault allegations acknowledged asking the alleged victim to expose herself to him during the 1984 encounter in Utah.
It is the first public disclosure of the 85-year-old Joseph L. Bishop acknowledging specific wrongdoing. It contradicts his son’s account that the woman exposed her breasts without being asked. Bishop has repeatedly denied raping her. He is heard apologizing to the woman during a December conversation she secretly taped, which was released this week.
The Brigham Young University police report released Wednesday night says when asked about the rape, Bishop says he either can’t remember or the woman is exaggerating. The Dec. 5 police interview came after the now 55-year-old woman filed her complaint the month before.