Jehovah’s Witness church covered up child sex abuse, survivors say

By Wilson Criscione
Jehovah's Witness church covered up child sex abuse, survivors say

They were in the Bible study room when Deryk Terril, a shy 11-year-old with shaggy hair in 1976, found the courage to finally say something: An elder at a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Spokane had been molesting him for years, Terril, now 57, recounts in a lawsuit filed in August.

He says he told a church leader he trusted to protect him.

Instead, the church leader got angry and told Terril they could do nothing about it without a second witness, Terril says. Police weren’t notified, he says, nor were his parents. The church allowed the alleged abuser, John Earl Jones, to continue spending time with Terril, and he molested the boy for years after, court documents say.

Around the same time, the mother of another boy in the congregation, Daniel Enholm, reported to the church that Jones had touched her son too. Again, the other church leaders failed to act, allowing Jones to be around the boys, the lawsuit says.

In the years after that, more boys came forward saying Jones sexually abused them, according to Terril and Enholm. Still, they say, church officials never alerted police.

Jones abused at least two more children in the following decades, court records show, before spending 16 years in a California prison for continual sexual abuse of a child under 14. “It could have been prevented if somebody had called the police [back in the ’70s],” Enholm tells InvestigateWest.

Jones, now 72, has since been released from prison. InvestigateWest’s attempts to reach him for this story were unsuccessful.

More News For You

Sexual abuse inquiry involving Burton priest says 'time and time again' allegations were ignored - Staffordshire Live
An inquiry which looked into the case of paedophile priest from Burton has issued a raft of recommendations, saying that “time and time again” allegations of abuse in the Catholic churc...
FOUNTAIN, Colo. (KRDO) — In October of 2022, the Fountain Police Department (FPD) began an investigation into an adult youth pastor who reportedly was sending sexually explicit materials to a...
U.S. judge blocks New York from banning guns in church | Reuters
Oct 20 (Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday barred the state of New York, at least for now, from enforcing the part of a closely watched gun law that bans firearms from churches or other p...
Catholic Diocese Totally screws up handling Sexual abuse
A continuous stream of revelations of Clerical sexual abuse and also the associated cover-ups has been a shock for many. What has become increasingly clear is that it has been happening on a litera...
Legacy Christian Academy former students request meeting with government officials  | CTV News
Three former students of the Legacy Christian Academy were at the Sask. Legislature on Thursday to request another meeting with members of government. The Saskatoon private school, formerly named t...
French Cardinal’s Admission Renews Scrutiny of Church Sexual Abuse - The New York Times
“It is a process that we are undertaking, and we are carrying it out with courage, and not everyone has courage,” he said, adding that the “will of the church is to clarify everything.” In France, ...
I don't suffer from a book addiction. I enjoy every minute of it.
Planet Earth Is a Lunatic Asylum
Stack of Books to Read
U.S. Healthcare for Family Means What?
World's Most Accurate Pie Chart
Classifying God If He Actually Did What Is In The Bible