Leto Copeley, along with several other attorneys, has filed a lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court on behalf of a mother who is seeking justice for herself and her minor children. Named as defendants in the suit are local and national leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church). The plaintiff alleges that her children were sexually abused by a lay leader in the Church. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff says that multiple leaders in the Raleigh Stake of the Church knew for several years that the lay leader was a pedophile and had abused minor children but they never reported his abuse to law enforcement authorities, and never warned the plaintiff that her children were at risk of being molested.
As soon as the plaintiff discovered the abuse, she reported the pedophile to authorities and cut off his access to her children. She contends in the lawsuit that the Church had a duty to warn her about the dangers posed by the pedophile in the family’s midst and that the family has been harmed by the failure to meet that duty. She contends that Church officials were capable of protecting her and her children because they adjusted their own internal practices to protect themselves and some other children in the Raleigh Stake from the pedophile.
The allegations of the complaint do not involve religious belief.
A copy of the complaint may be found here. Other counsel on the lawsuit are Marci Hamilton of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, a scholar in the area of church and state, and Gregg Meyers of Jeff Anderson & Associates, P.A.
The matter continues to be investigated and the law firm is seeking assistance from the public in obtaining evidence and information regarding the Raleigh Stake of the Church and the failure to disclose known information about this pedophile.