Plaintiffs in sex abuse lawsuit against relatives of LDS Church president ask judge to keep it alive

SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys for six people who filed a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse against relatives of the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have asked a federal judge to keep their lawsuit alive.

In a new court filing, the plaintiffs asked the judge to reject a request by Richard and Brenda Miles to dismiss the litigation. They argue the Utah State Legislature passed a law removing some of the limitations on civil lawsuits over sexual abuse, allowing it to proceed.

“This case concerns the horrific type of child sex abuse that the Utah Legislature sought to remedy by giving victims an opportunity to achieve some semblance of justice in holding the perpetrators accountable for their actions,” Craig Vernon, the attorney for the plaintiffs wrote.

Brenda Miles, the daughter of LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson, and her husband, Richard, have vigorously denied the accusations. The lawsuit alleges that in the 1980s, the Miles and others abused children and there was a coverup to squelch police investigations. Within hours of it being filed in federal court, the Miles’ asked a judge to dismiss it arguing the alleged victims had false memories from a therapist and Bountiful police investigated and found nothing to the claims.

The lawsuit does not name the LDS Church itself, but Vernon previously told FOX 13 he reserved the right to amend it to possibly include other defendants — including President Nelson.

The LDS Church has said allegations of interference or a coverup are “baseless and offensive.”

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