Nick French, 42, was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and served as an elder. As as child he was tormented physically and psychologically by his Jehovah’s Witness step-father.
His abuser Gary Moscrop, 76, was finally jailed for 10 offences including indecent assault, gross indecency with a child, buggery and child cruelty by a court in Sussex, UK. Moscrop was sentenced to 10 years in jail on January 8, 2015.
Nick French has waived his right to anonymity. He has spoken to The Argus newspaper in Brighton and to Jehovah’s Witness Report.
The Argus reports that “Elders of Jehovahs’ Witnesses denied the police access to their records.” Nick told the Argus journalist, Rachel Millard, that “he was astonished about that and the fact that Moscrop appeared to have been reaccepted into the organisation years after being thrown out because of his caution for sexual abuse.”
He said: “I was astonished. There was never any form of repentance or apology or anything like that.”
Nick has shared more details with Jehovah’s Witness Report.
This is his story:
“You need to move on, everybody else has.”
These were the words of a Jehovah’s Witness elder to my family who were being stalked by my abuser at a JW assembly just after his reinstatement.
My abuser’s name is Gary Moscrop, and he was my step-father after my mum had married him not long after she converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses.
He started abusing me right from the outset. I was only seven years of age and he continued for five years. Then one Thursday night whilst the rest of my family were attending a Witness meeting I was subjected to an episode of abuse that horrified and disturbed me and still does to this day. He was eventually convicted of buggery for what had happened that night. The next morning at the age of 13, I managed to find the words to say I had been sexually abused. He was disfellowshipped on his confession. Up till then I had spoken on a number of occasions of the physical beatings however as it was my word against his, he was believed, I could not form the words to tell of the sexual abuse I was enduring.
For reasons unknown to me it would be another two years before the police were called, and I was only able to tell of the last time I was abused, though not the extent as I was ashamed and embarrassed. Sadly my mum did not want to press charges and so all he got was a caution. That was in 1987.
Gary Moscrop was reinstated as a Jehovah’s Witness at around the year 2000. I was not informed of this, nor had any apology from him so am unsure how he was able to demonstrate his repentance. At the next assembly, he stalked my family and one of them called me in a distressed state, telling me that the elder, who knew the case, had said “You need to move on, everybody else has.”
I wrote to the elders in Brighton congregation explaining that this is not possible to move on, daily we are reminded of what he put us through. To date, I have not heard back from any of the elders in Brighton.
At around 2002 I found out he had married a young Filipino girl who was studying with the witnesses, and she was pregnant. Immediately I contacted the police and gave them copies of the statements that were taken in 1987. They were very good and went to his house and informed him that they were classing him as a sex offender, and he would have limited access to his yet unborn child. Thankfully his new wife kicked him out.
This experience brought back many memories of what I had been through, and now with children of my own I could not comprehend how anyone could hurt or abuse children in such a way. I went into a deep depression and became suicidal. I went to my GP, who referred me to a psychologist, and for six months, I went through a course of CBT.
The CBT helped a great deal. However, I was plagued with flashbacks on a daily basis. I had never spoken to anyone, even my therapists about the abuse I suffered. Eventually, I could no longer cope and suffered a nervous breakdown. I stopped being a Jehovah’s Witness overnight, resigning as an elder and never going back to any meetings.
I wrote a journal of what was going on in my head, in order to try and make sense of what had happened to me. I then spoke to a close friend about what I had survived. All this was in 2011, for the first time in my life I was able to confront my demons, and went back to the police and told them about events nobody had heard about before.
A case was put together and sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, who said we had a strong case for the High Court.
On January 8th, 2015 Gary Moscrop was jailed for ten years for the offences against me and I am very happy to see some justice.
However, many questions still remain.
Why were the police not called straight away?
Why was I not informed of his reinstatement when at the time I was also a JW?
How could he be reinstated without evidence of repentance?
Why were JW families in the area not warned of his crimes?
Did the elders know what kind of person he was before my mum married him?
Argus News Victim tells of sexual abuse story at hands of step father Link