LDS Church denies wrongdoing in Idaho Boy Scout sex abuse lawsuit

SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is denying wrongdoing in an ongoing lawsuit in Idaho alleging sex abuse and a coverup between leaders of the faith and the Boy Scouts of America.

In a response filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boise, attorneys for the Utah-based LDS Church issued common denials to the allegations.

“All perpetrators’ alleged conduct occurred outside the course and scope of their duties, if any, and so LDS Defendants cannot be held vicariously liable for their conduct,” church attorney Wade Woodard wrote in the legal answer to the complaint.

The lawsuit filed last month alleges the LDS Church and the Boy Scouts “actively concealed their knowledge that abusers had been joining Scouting for decades to gain access to and sexually abuse boys” back in the 1970s and ’80s. The plaintiffs are five men who claim they were molested in the scouting programs in Boise and Lewiston.

In another part of the LDS Church’s response to the lawsuit, Woodard said some information sought by the plaintiffs may also be protected by clergy-penitent privilege.

In a separate court filing last month, the Boy Scouts of America also denied the accusations in the lawsuit.

Read the LDS Church’s court filing here: