Christopher Michael Jensen – Abused Multiple LDS Children, Church Settles Lawsuit Without Any Admission Of Wrongdoing

The Abuse

ABC News Story, Including Video

Case Summary From WHSV News

In 2004, Chistopher Michael Jensen was arrested at age 13 at his middle school and charged with two felony counts of sexual abuse against two girls.

Despite this fact, he was recommended as a babysitter to multiple members of the ward, where he sexually abused multiple children.

He was SERVING A MISSION for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was brought in for questioning, and was eventually sentenced in 2013 to 35 to 75 years in prison for sexually abusing two children, ages 3 and 4.

AFTER his sentencing, he was excommunicated from the Church.

Telling Church Leadership

Several LDS mothers of children abused by Christopher Michael Jensen claim that they told a bishop and other Church leaders about the abuse, but Church leaders did not report the abuse and “did nothing to warn and protect” their children.

This eventually went to a civil suit, which the Church settled for an undisclosed amount.

HOWEVER, the Church did NOT claim any kind of fault or responsibility.

They also refused any interviews with ABC, and instead sent a statement that said “These allegations are false, offensive, and unsubstantiated. As soon as Church leaders learned of abuse by this individual, they encouraged the parents of the abused children to report to West Virginia police and confirmed the report.”

In other words, the women who made these reports are lying and the Church leaders did nothing wrong.

The Church claims it did everything it possibly could have done to protect these children from a sexual predator.

The Damage

These children have to deal with the mental, emotional and sexual trauma caused by a predator.

The Problem And What Could Have Been Done Differently

Reactionary (Slow) Church Discipline

For one, the Church was very reactionary in its discipline of a known sexual predator.

He was on a mission for the Church when he was brought in for trial for sexually abusing children.

That means that a sexual predator attended the temple and was out as an official representative of the Church.

It was only after SENTENCING that he was excommunicated.

Non-Involvement Of Survivors In Church Hearing

In the Church’s excommunication hearing, at least one of the mothers whose children were abused by Christopher Michael Jensen was DENIED the opportunity to attend the hearing.

No Ownership Of Blame Or Attempt To Improve Church Policy And Procedure

The Church says they did nothing wrong, though they did reach a settlement to pay for damages done to these children and their families.

Instead of using this as an opportunity to see what went wrong and implement policy and procedure changes to keep it from happening again, the Church:

  1. Blamed Christopher Michael Jensen for lying to Church authorities (which is how he could have gone on a mission, by lying through interview questions)
  2. Accused the families of the survivors of lying

Again, look at the Church’s statement: “There have been allegations that the Church knew that Jensen was a danger and did nothing to stop him. These allegations are false, offensive, and unsubstantiated. As soon as Church leaders learned of abuse by this individual, they encouraged the parents of the abused children to report to West Virginia police and confirmed the report.”

The civil case claimants said the opposite. That the Church DID know that Jensen was a danger.

So, in the Church’s official statement, they call the mothers of the victims of a predator… liars.

What We Can Do

In my opinion, MUCH of this tragedy could have been prevented by the system outlined in the petition.

When these mothers learned of the abuse and asked their leader, they could have been directed to a hotline of PROFESSIONALS, who would have clearly explained the legal and therapy resources available.

If the mothers were not satisfied with how their leaders handled the case, they could have called this hotline DIRECTLY.

The Church often points to its policies and procedures, and many of them are very good.

BUT, what happens when a leader does not FOLLOW these?

What happens when someone feels their claims of abuse are not being taken as seriously as they should?

Right now, there’s no clear place for these people to turn within the Church.

What we are fighting for is the CREATION of a clear place to turn.

To be walked through a CLEAR, TRANSPARENT and SURVIVOR-FOCUSED system…

That helps the survivors heal AND delivers appropriate discipline to the abusers.

And, one that helps PREVENT abuse by making criminal records easily available to members, so that they could make informed decisions about important things like who is teaching or babysitting their children.

To help create this system, please sign this petition:

Please Share Your Story

If you have a story where you were abused, reported it to Church leaders, and did not receive appropriate support or justice…

PLEASE CLICK HERE to share your story.

I know it’s scary to share it.

Every person who has shared so far has been scared to share. But they did it anyway.

And they did it as ANONYMOUSLY as they wanted.

People will doubt it.

People will question your actions.

Some people will make you feel like the “bad guy.”


If it keeps getting pushed under the rug, change will not happen. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or anywhere else.

They might ignore your story. But they can’t ignore hundreds or thousands of stories.

For every one person who shares their story, there are MANY more who are silently saying “me too.”

When you share yours, you empower someone else to share theirs and move towards healing.

The more voices that stand up and share their story, the bigger difference we can make.

CLICK HERE to share your story.

And let’s make The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the safest place on earth for survivors of abuse.

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