Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Local lawsuit targets Mormon church

Posted By on Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 4:53 PM

David Scott Frank
  • David Scott Frank

In 2010, David Scott Frank began a sexually exploitative relationship with a 15-year-old girl. He was 40 at the time. This exploitation came to an end months later with the girl going to her parents. They, in turn, went to the police and charges for sexual assault were filed against Frank, who pled guilty last year and was sentenced to 450 days in jail. He was also required to register as a sex offender.

Now, this young woman has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking damages against not only Frank but the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The claim, filed yesterday in district court, alleges that the girl met Frank as he served as a Sunday school teacher overseeing children aged 13 to 15 years old at the Fountain Colorado Stake's Eighth Ward, located at 325 Putnam Drive.

The suit goes on to argue that the church leadership behaved in "extreme and outrageous conduct" in placing Frank in a position of authority over these children. From the claim:

At the time David Scott Frank served as a Sunday school teacher in which Plaintiff was a student, he possessed a criminal history of acts within the Colorado Springs area of domestic violence in both 1998 and 2002, felony menacing in 2000, harassment in 2001 and kidnapping in 2001. More recently he was charged with violations of protective orders on three different occasions between 2005 and 2008. If the Mormon Church had done an inexpensive, basic background check it would have known of Frank's criminal history.

In attempting to establish its claim against the LDS church, the suit argues that the church is "a multi-level structure [that] follows a strict hierarchical form," and that the president of the church holds "ultimate and absolute authority ... [and] has the authority to appoint and remove anyone in the Mormon Church, including all members of wards and stakes, at will."

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