Mormon leader's remark on sexual misconduct draws criticism

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Mormon leader's remark on sexual misconduct draws criticism
People attend the twice-annual conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church is facing more criticism about its approach to sexual abuse after a top leader praised the #MeToo movement but referred to sexual misconduct as “non-consensual immorality.”

Some said Monday that the remark could be interpreted as victim blaming. Quentin L. Cook, a member of a top church governing body, made it Sunday as he spoke about righteousness.

It was the only reference to the topic during a two-day Mormon conference despite the church facing scrutiny. A former prominent missionary leader has been accused of sexually assaulting two women in the 1980s.

Church spokesman Eric Hawkins declined to comment about the criticism of Cook’s speech. It’s common practice for church officials to let conference speeches stand without further explanation.