"My Trusty Gavel" by Brian Turner / CC BY 2.0

Utah high court weighs case of woman who says church made her listen to audio of her rape

Nov 12, 2020

By Annie Knox

The Utah Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case alleging male leaders of a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Roy forced a 15-year-old girl to listen to a recording of a man raping her in 2008.

Lower courts found the church is not liable for the incident under protections of the First Amendment.

The state’s high court has not yet made any ruling, but one justice made his views on the alleged conduct clear.

“The allegation here is a mental and emotional equivalent of waterboarding,” Justice Deno Himonas said. “I’ve been a judge for a long time and a lawyer for a long time. I’ve never seen, in court, anything like this that’s alleged.”

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