Jehovah’s Witnesses settle sex abuse suits

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A victims’ rights group released documents Thursday that showed the Jehovah’s Witnesses settled lawsuits with 16 people, 14 of the cases in California, who claimed that they were sexually abused by church elders or that church officials failed to act on abuse allegations.

At a news conference in Nashville, the group, called Silentlambs, demanded that the denomination change its policy for responding to sex abuse reports.

Settlements were reached in February and March, according to court records obtained by Silentlambs. Details could not be disclosed under confidentiality agreements. The Jehovah’s Witnesses said it was pleased the lawsuits were resolved, declining further comment.