MO - Six Mohler family members for child sex crimes, Bates City 2009 #3

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by Texas Mist, Nov 21, 2009.

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  1. Texas Mist

    Texas Mist Retired WS Staff

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  3. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Not being very familiar with the Mormon religion/faith, I did a little research on the title "Bishop". The man who purportedly took a disclosure or report from JMohler is identified by the media as former Bishop Paul Tonga. This is a definition from Wikipedia:


    "A bishop holds one of the key ecclesiastical positions within the Mormon Church. He is the leader of a local congregation, known as a ward. The position of a bishop within the Mormon Church differs from the position with the same name in other denominations. In other churches, a bishop may administer a large geographical area involving a large number of congregations. The Mormon position of bishop is most analogous to the position of a rabbi, minister, pastor, or parish priest in other denominations. The position of bishop is singular; there is only one bishop per congregation at any given time."
     
  4. jjj

    jjj New Member

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    I'm going to bet years of getting away with everything made them overconfident enough not to bother. At least I hope that's the case...
     
  5. Texas Mist

    Texas Mist Retired WS Staff

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  6. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    This is the only other place I've found former Bishop Tonga. I noticed that he is now referred to as Brother Tonga. Does anyone know how that works? Once you've retired or been removed as a Bishop, do you become a Brother?

    http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.j...2270ed6c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

    This is an article concerning the re-opening of the Independence Visitors' Center in 2006:

    "Just about everything is different than it used to be inside the Independence Visitors’ Center in Independence, Missouri, which recently reopened after more than a year of renovations."

    "Closed for 13 months, the visitors’ center opened its two new theaters, 23 exhibits, and unique interactive children’s area to the public in March. The new features give more than a historical context of Independence. “Before, we were telling people about the plan of salvation,” says Paul Tonga, who worked as a host in the old center. “Today we show them.” After visiting the center with his wife, Brother Tonga could not wait to return with his 7 children and 18 grandchildren. “The message is there for families and individuals—whoever decides to follow Christ,” he said."
     
  7. Texas Mist

    Texas Mist Retired WS Staff

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    After reading thru some previous cases @ that Mormon Alliance site, it wouldn't surprise me either if they were confident that it would be 'no big deal'.

    I did lots of reading there last nite after MissIzzy posted the link....in too many cases, IMO, the church or family members who reported abuse to the church and/or went public with it were harassed...some moved away & have unlisted telephone numbers.

    I don't think this is uncommon based on what I've read...and then there's the vid of 'Nicole' saying she had concerns over speaking up & her own parents were threatened with ex-communication.

    Amazingly, the perps were not always ex-communicated, and if they were, were re-accepted.

    I realize that the Comm. of Christ is not the same as LDS, but many families living in Missouri have been there a very long time - and may still hold onto previous generations' cultural beliefs. (I hope this makes sense what I'm trying to say.)

    The vics are truly survivors based on what's been released so far.
     
  8. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    It's pretty sad when the first items to come up when doing research are from fellow WSers!! I think they did "scrub the internet" before this case broke. Initially, I thought that somehow LE helped the alleged victims do that. Now, I'm starting to wonder if other entities have done the same. One would think that you could find info about a pastor of a church in a mid-sized city from only 20 years ago. Didn't he marry or bury anyone?

    Concerning jjj and Texas Mist's comments about the lapse of time before the search warrant, I agree that there's a certain sense of invincibility here. I also think LE might have been watching or listening far more than we know. Once again, this could be why the budget was discussed at length. If this is truly such a huge case, and with the Missouri/Iowa state line smack dab in the middle of things, wouldn't the FBI be involved, thereby pulling down federal funds?
     
  9. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I agree Texas Mist. I don't want to bring down the wrath of the LDS or the Community of Christ Church but I do have an observation.

    I was raised American Baptist. Not Southern. Not Primitive. American. That doesn't mean a thing to a Catholic but Baptists understand and highlight the differences. In my church, dances were held and social drinking was accepted. That is not acceptable, per church creed, in some of the more fundamentalist Baptist churches. The American Baptists could be said to be on a "slippery slope" by some of the other Baptists.

    However, being raised Baptist and having attended lots of different types of Baptist churches, I'm very comfortable with and have a pretty good understanding of the different practices. The sequencing of the service is similar, the hymns are often the same, there's Baptism of adults, and a "call forward" at the end of each service. All the Baptist Youth groups still hold Bible drills. It's almost comical to me how different "branches" or "off-shoots" of a particular denomination will bicker until the cows come home.

    I think I get it that the LDS church is different than the Community of Christ Church (not to be referred to any longer as the RLDS, I guess). The church leaders have used this incident as a "teachable moment" about the separateness of these denominations. They are saying it loud and clear.

    That being said, I still think that most Mormons and most Community of Christ church members are very familiar with how things are done in each church. I think some of the shared history has filtered down to both churches and their congregations. I think anyone who has been a member of any Mormon church or an "off-shoot" will recognize many of the details in the "Mormon Alliance" and the traditions, both highly positive and horribly worrisome alluded to in that document.
     
  10. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I think it was jjj who pointed out that the article about Bishop Tonga "counseling" the Mohler family had been changed slightly to include information about Burrell Jr.'s excommunication. I just checked the article again for a detail and find that it's been corrected yet again. Is this permissible or even considered best practice in journalism (is that an oxymoron?). It irritates me that the news source, Fox4KC, doesn't do an addendum or correction. They just add it in to the original article:

    "In a statement to FOX 4 on Friday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that they have "a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to child abusers. When abuse is suspected, the Church directs its members to first contact the legal authorities and then their local bishop for counseling and support. The Church cooperates fully with law enforcement in investigating incidents of child abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice." The statement continues: "Had Bishop Paul Tonga consulted with Church leaders about the past child abuse allegations made against Burell E. Mohler Jr. he would have been told to ensure the proper authorities were notified."

    These changes/additions might have been the reason that some posters couldn't open the link yesterday. That link is:

    http://www.fox4kc.com/news/wdaf-story-mohler-church-official-111909,0,4424459.story
     
  11. PAXIMUS

    PAXIMUS Registered user

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    I do agree with the poster above Oceaneyes, that this is a great group of people and each of you contribute in your own special way, it doesnt matter if you have professional expertise or not because many of you have life experiences to share that some of us could never learned cracking books open in college!
     
  12. human

    human Well-Known Member

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    From reading the book The Mormon murders, it was stated in there that the Mormon church would send people to go around and remove former Mormon books and destroy them because they didn't like what was in the books. It's so long ago that I read it that I don't remember what it was they didn't like. Something about the succession of leaders, maybe or facts about Joseph Smith. IDK

    At any rate, I do know that the Mormon church has a long and powerful arm in the US.
     
  13. mysticrose

    mysticrose The key to change... is to let go of fear

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    Paximus this question is for you, I'm a little concerned on how much info is being realeased right away from this case from LE , what effect is this going to have if any on this case ? In your Opinion...
    If it were me I sure would not be letting every little detail out right away to the public.
     
  14. Texas Mist

    Texas Mist Retired WS Staff

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    They may say they have a 'zero tolerance' but their legal representation in the most recent LDS & Boy Scouts civil suit says:

    Allen Ruby, a San Jose lawyer representing the church, said, "Any allegation of childhood abuse is a serious matter," but said, "The church will defend itself."

    Ruby said, "The law does not make a church responsible for the conduct of a stepfather toward his children."


    IMO, they are not speaking to the current situation that BMjr finds himself in because of concern over yet another civil suit from a group of recovering survivors.

    ETA: link http://www.ktvu.com/news/21633859/detail.html
     
  15. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I add my voice to Mysticrose's. Upon reflection, there is an awful lot of info (not nearly enough for many, however) being released. After all, this isn't a Sunshine Law state.

    When our family case broke, there were frequent updates in the local and regional newspapers. The A/P picked up a small story due to the large number of charges (26-27 for our family alone). But, the media certainly didn't print copies of the Probable Cause Statements or Search Warrants. Those were held close to the vest by the local DA.

    During our trial, things got nastier and to me, seemed a little lop-sided. The media surely seemed biased against our children IMO and tried to sensationalize the case far more than the DA did. Oh, the comparisons to Wenatchee!! But you would have had to have really attended our trial or have read the transcripts or appeal afterwards to get the details.

    So, Pax, what's your take on this?
     
  16. PAXIMUS

    PAXIMUS Registered user

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    Well it appears in MO they have to FILE a probable cause statement before they can make any arrests, that is NOT the case in most states, in most states they can quietly make an arrest and start digging around for evidence and nobody really knows anything about it unless LE leaks it to the media, but it appears in MO they have to file some sort of PC statement before they make their arrests and that being the case the minute they file that PC statement that becomes public information and the media can then report whats going on. Obviously this is all going to have a huge impact in the trial because it will be difficult to seat a pool of jurors who have not already been exposed too all of this information we are discussing on here which makes it hard for the Mohlers to get a fair trial. At the very least the defense will have to file a change off venue which may not make much difference since this case has made national headlines.

    I would much prefer LE do their jobs and line up their ducks before releasing all this type of information but that isnt always how it works so it is what it is.

    Another problem is once you let all this info out you can then expect a lot of people to come forward claiming they are victims and can recite word for word what happened to them because they read all the facts in the newspaper. More people do this than you can imagine, some people love to throw themselves in to the middle of these kinds of cases just for fun I guess.

    Usually LE will hold some very detailed info back from the media so that if other victims come forward and mention that specific thing LE will then know they are LEGIT and didnt get that info from the media reports and that may be the case here, LE may have more evidence than we know about because they want to hold it back in case new victims come forward so that they can use that info to verify if the new victims are legit.

    Make sense?:dance:
     
  17. human

    human Well-Known Member

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    We've had some high profile cases where I live, and they just move the trial to another area of the state.

    I only know about this case because I'm on WS. I live in another state and there hasn't been one word about this case in the newspaper.
     
  18. jjj

    jjj New Member

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    Why the interest in Tonga? From what I knew coming in about the LDS, multiplied 10x over by the mormonalliance links posted here, his reaction was exactly as could be expected. (I'm not saying he didn't doing anything wrong, I'm saying I don't see anything mysterious or unusual in his reaction given his position as a LDS bishop - I would expect 80% of 1980's LDS bishops to react similarly, so wouldn't expect there to be any clues in his history, other than his position as LDS bishop, to shed light on his actions.)
    If you're still curious though, you could try looking him up here if you haven't already-
    https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/cases/searchCases.do?searchType=name

    I don't think the victims used LE to remove themselves, as there a few things LE might've been able to do that they didn't in this case. But I do think they're fairly safe given the sensible precautions they took & the different last names. I am horrified though by the amount of information that's been released - both in terms of LE releasing it & media's uneven censoring of it. And regarding the probable cause statements, even if LE has to release it, there's really no reason for news orgs to provide them for download when they've already summarized them in articles.
     
  19. Texas Mist

    Texas Mist Retired WS Staff

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    I wonder if there's a reason that a judge didn't order the probable cause or search warrants sealed? To my knowledge those are public records & it requires a judge to seal them to prevent their release to the public.

    I also wonder if the accusers are at a point in their recovery that they are very angry and want the world to know what their young lives were like....just a thought anyway that it might be part of their healing process.

    The release of this info may have been a decision they were allowed to make, and it seems it would give them an amount of power over the accused, considering the accused are the ones who are now subjected to humiliating circumstance, and have had the opportunity to be shackled & locked up, away from family.


    :twocents:

    (and certainly speculation on my part)
     
  20. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I just found this and thought it interesting:

    "Men who haven't been victims less likely to believe child sex abuse claims"

    http://www.bendweekly.com/Living/2796.html

    I don't see this at all on WS, or I wouldn't be here, but I have noticed it on the news forums. Most (not all) of the male posters are having a hard time buying the allegations. I think this article very articulately states why that is.

    I'll never forget what happened when we went to Salem to try to change the laws on Post Conviction Relief Trials in Oregon. We were working with Crime Victims United and they spoke out anonymously on our family's behalf. We were running out of time for that particular session so I went to Salem and yammered on and on about our family's grief and agony. The senators were very gracious and kind. But, oh man, when one of our sons stepped forward and spoke directly of his rape, you could have heard a pin drop. One male senator put his head down and cried (bless his heart, he's a Republican but I loved him in that moment). "Our" bill passed out of that committee before we even left the room.

    I don't think it's that men are hard hearted or uncaring at all. I happen to adore a certain man and have nine sons!! I think they just cannot fathom the evil until they really have to confront it. I think that girls grow up hearing more about sexual abuse from relatives and friends. Boys, as a general rule don't stand around the locker room and discuss this issue.

    I have so much respect for any rape victim (such as Jaycee and KC!!) but I'm in awe when a man or a boy stands up and says, "It happened to me."

    There's been so much talk about the alleged female victims and my heart breaks for them. Being female, though, they most likely will get the support they desperately need. No, I worry most about the alleged male victim. I've seen the shame in those eyes. I hope that young man opens himself up to healing.
     
  21. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    jjj--Your posts are always very helpful. Thank you.

    Just wondering--does anyone know exactly how long these men can be held without representation? I find it so strange, as Pax mentioned, that attorneys are not stepping forward. Look at the Garrido case and the Huckaby case. Lawyers immediately. You don't suppose that the unrepresented are choosing that path, do you?
     
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