Two women who began court action in 2014, against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York and the Bellows Falls congregation filed a opposition motion in January 2015 in response to the defendant’s motion to dismiss.
Irwin M. Zalkin of The Zalkin Law Firm in San Diego, California and Jerome O’Neill of Gravel & Shea in Burlington represent sisters, Annessa and Miranda Lewis.
The Reformer reports that “Lewis and her sister were members of the Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Bellows Falls in the early 1990s and allege they were sexually abused by Norton True, who at the time was a “ministerial servant,” which Zalkin has previously described as the equivalent of a Catholic deacon.
Zalkin told the Reformer the girls’ mother approached the church about a year after Miranda was molested and “was basically told to keep her mouth shut.“”
The attorneys motion argues that it was the congregation’s responsibility to warn parents of the threat posed by True, whom the defendants knew was a pedophile, because of a previous molestation of a minor. The motion also stated the alleged molestation of the Bellows Falls sisters at ages 4 and 5 was predictable and “resulted from the defendants‘ actions and inactions.”
The Reformer – Bellow Falls – Women suing Jehovah’s Witnesses file motion Link
The Zalkin Law firm Link
Christian Post – Reports Jehovah’s Witness child molestation allegations Link
Photo credit – “BellowsFalls” by Wayne Blanchard (VtWayne at en.wikipedia) –