Monica Jaramillo claims she was abused by a Los Lunas elder when she was eight

Just when you thought there couldn’t be more evidence of Watchtower’s mishandling of child abuse, another victim steps forward – this time in New Mexico.

Having already filed in San Diego for the Gonzalo Campos case, and in Ohio to represent Elizabeth McFarland, lawyer Irwin Zalkin is now launching a new lawsuit on behalf of Monica Jaramillo, now 35, who alleges she was raped by an elder when she was just eight years old.

And in a sickening twist, Monica’s mother alleges that she was abused by the same man when she too was eight.

Monica’s team claim that she approached elders about her abuse, but they failed to investigate the matter or even remove her alleged abuser as an elder. “I went to who I thought was the proper authorities within the organization, and then I was told to just keep it quiet,” said Monica’s mother, Vicky Davis. As a result of her ordeal, Monica is said to suffer from “great emotional distress” requiring medical and psychological treatment.

Irwin Zalkin is proving to be a thorn in Watchtower’s side

Irwin Zalkin is certainly developing a reputation as a thorn in Watchtower’s side, and in the above news report he wasted no time in articulating the severity of the organization’s child abuse problem. “We think this is sort of similar to the beginnings of the Catholic abuse story,” he remarked.

Back in February, fellow lawyer Rick Simons (who represents Candace Conti) described the child sex abuse problem as “rampant” among Jehovah’s Witnesses. (see video, 10:15 timing) As yet more victims step out of the shadows with the bravery to pursue Watchtower for the harm inflicted on them, you have to wonder whether this is as bad as it gets, or just the tip of the iceberg.






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16 thoughts on “Zalkin files third JW lawsuit as New Mexico child abuse victim steps forward

  • August 16, 2013 at 2:15 am

    It is surely the tip of the iceberg. I feel the situation may be worse in developing countries.

  • August 16, 2013 at 3:54 am

    But the authorities still will do nothing about this or any of the many outstanding crime, abuse and Rights violation issues that plague and saturate that organization from top to bottom and end to end. They are being committed also outside of it here on the Internet and against former members as they attempt to leave and go about their lives and carry on with their business and affairs but still nothing is done!
    At what point do people begin to hold the authorities accountable? One needs to ask?

  • August 16, 2013 at 3:54 am

    I wonder how long people will tolerate this scandal? Could a movement be formed to strip the WTBATS of its charitable status? Surely secular society should not be expected to partially fund such a terrible group? The GB have no honour. Hitting them in the wallet seems to be an achievable goal.

    My sincere sympathy goes to all that have suffered abuse.

  • August 16, 2013 at 6:17 am

    If the WT went into meltdown through paying these court cases and actually closed shop, what would happen? would the 1 million real believing JW hardcore actually just give up? Or would they invent a new title (Jehovah’s REAL witnesses etc) and continue.. once the 9 headed hydra of the GB is slain will we simply get another beast? Sadly i think the answer is yes.. Whilst there are people to be exploited then these things will just continue. Sadly this virus will be with us for some time in one form or another. How can this kind of cult end? I mean look at the history of failure and disillusionment, yet still they just bury themselves deeper into ignorance. Steve Hassan covered this in his book excellently when dealing with cults whos predictions fail. After the fringe leave the hardcore become more convinced and invent “invisible second comings” etc and get more fanatical.. But ok if Adults want to spend their lives working for free for a cult then its their choice, but i feel very sorry for the born ins who know no different. And i also feel particularly sad and sorry for the people that this stupid authoritarian cult has abused.

  • August 16, 2013 at 9:09 am

    As George said these lawsuits are hitting the org hard in their wallets. I am still attending all the meetings and it was announced this week in all UK congregations that the org is selling off all its Mill Hill Bethel sites. The announcement called all publishers to save up and donate for the new building project planned in London after the sale.

    It certainly looks like a lot of victims are going to get a lot of settlements!!!!!!

  • August 16, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Thanks Cedars,
    The technical hitch was resolved in timely manner. Well done keep up the good work

  • August 16, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I feel that Witnesses are extremely naive. They are told by the organization that they are inside a spiritual paradise where everyone is happy-go-jolly and there’s no need to fear. they are even told to branch-out and socialize with other “brothers and sisters” in the congregation. The result? kids being left unattended with a visiting elder while the single mom is getting dinner ready, or kids allowed to go preaching with men who the parents think are a great spiritual association. It’s easier to wakeup a rock than a witness from their spiritual slumber and blindness. I know a girl who was raped since the age of 5 until she was 14. She approached the her mom, and then the elders. Her mom spoke to the wife of the predator who then fled the country. She was told to leave the matter “In Jehovah’s hands”.

    • August 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      … I know a girl who was raped since the age of 5 until she was 14. She approached the her mom, and then the elders. Her mom spoke to the wife of the predator who then fled the country. She was told to leave the matter “In Jehovah’s hands”.

      Sincere Witnesses continue to believe JHVH must be using their “organization” because only it proceeds to 1) exalt God by his name, Jehovah [or Yahweh…] and 2) claim that Isaiah 42:10 declared that believers must become “Jehovah’s witnesses.” But JWs fail to notice that the same prophetic book, in Isaiah chapter 58:1, tells belivers to
      “Call out full‐throated; do not hold back. Raise your voice just like a horn, and tell my people their revolt, and the house of Jacob their sins.”
      So, Witnesses, here Isaiah plainly states JHVH wants you to expose the errors of your own fellow “spiritual Israelites,” no?
      Should Isaiah 58 not be taken just as seriously as Isaiah 43?
      Please think about this. — dudley cook

  • August 17, 2013 at 12:31 am

    how explain that mother’s Monica did not protect her daugther from this man ?

  • August 17, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I say this is a wake up call! it’s time to become personally more socially active. Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that you should look with contempt upon the police, Government and authorities when there is every scriptural and other basis for seeking them out. This is more latent programming that needs to be shed…
    Now, even more than I have encouraged in the past I believe that we need to appeal to not only investigators but appointed and elected officials as to why they are not doing something about these matters when they are being reported and why investigators are not responding with vigor as needed to the growing threat not only to children but to former Jehovah’s Witnesses on the Internet and across the spectrum of crime and abuse.
    It’s a very simple matter to contact your investigative authority and local representative here in the US and in most countries to report events past and present, especially with availability of the Internet so if you are reading this post? Click on over and take some responsibility!

  • August 18, 2013 at 7:09 am

    The victim should go to the police first. They are the ones that are responsible for reporting abuse to the police. If they don’t, then that is their own fault. It is not fair to sue an organization for failing to report criminal activity. What is so hard about that to understand?

  • August 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Novelidea, when you are a witness, it’s like you are among a great crowd of blind people in a giant room, and you yourself have a blindfold on. Instructions are given through a speaker system for what people should do, and everyone does whatever is said through the sound system. The organization is the one who is giving the instructions. The organization and it’s elders tell people that they should not bring reproach on Jehovah’s name. They are also told that going to the police instead of resolving the matters in-house will bring reproach on Jehovah’s name, and his house (the kingdom hall – as taught by JW’s). So every good and obedient JW would go to the elders to resolve any problems. Back in the days, elders were told that parents involved should be stopped from going to the police. Present rules state the elders are supposed to report to the police in some states of the US (where required by law), while in others, reporting to the police is not a necessity, unless the parents want to go on their own. As has always been the case, the elders usually write a letter to the organization reporting the problem, and in some cases asking for the advice of the organization’s headquarters. Every sex abuse case is supposed to be reported to the headquarters, where they keep a record of every elder’s investigation related to every sex abuse case (whats the purpose of keeping the record of thousands of sex abuse cases if you are not going to do anything about them? Are they for memories? or as a record of sacrifice to Satan?). According to the Organization, sex abuse is a sin (just like lying), not a crime (like murder). So, unfortunately people are just following protocol when they go to the elders instead of the police. That protocol was set by the organization. That’s why, the organization is getting sued, and should be sued – for having protocols that prevent proper justice from taking place. The pedophile is allowed to continue on as if he did nothing wrong. Do you think that is fair? Now, when those previously sexually abused kids grow up and realize that they should’ve gone to the police, but didnt because their parents were told not to go, they get bitter and want some justice. A law suit to some extent is a fair way to settle things. It doesnt get the pedophile behind bars, but it gets the organizations money in the hands of the victim, which is somewhat fair. Afterall, imagine the irreparable damage that the poor victim had to go through! The WTBTS is BY NO MEANS a fair organization. They take people’s donations claiming it will be used for the furthering of the good news and building of kingdom halls. Then, that money is used to give a mortgage (with interest) to the kingdom hall that they build! So…. to get things straight…. they take free money as donations, and loan it back to the same people who gave it to them in the first place. That’s stealing! Getting sued would help them to maybe think twice about the real cleansing that they claim happened in 1919. They should get rid of those pedophiles instead of protecting them.

  • August 21, 2013 at 3:17 am

    I agree with the above comment. However, the shepherding book does acknowledge that child abuse is a crime. If witnesses want to go to the secular authorities then they are free to do so, without congregation sanctions.

    Even though this is written in the book, nowhere does it say that the elders should use the information to go to the police. If more than one victim comes forward, the elders MAY see this evidence as satisfying the 2 witness rule.

    The above paragraph clearly defines the immoral response that the witnesses have to this sick and evil crime.

    I would advice any current witnesses to encourage anyone affected by this vile crime to go straight to the authorities. This disgrace must be stamped out.

  • August 21, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    What if the pedophile involved is an elder who is very active and outgoing? I have seen several cases where the victim’s words are given no value in such cases because the elder’s involvement in the congregational activities outweigh the accusation of the child (according to the elders who are in the judicial committee). That’s why there are elders who are able to take advantage of more than one child and nothing is done. Any baptized and dedicated Jehovah’s witness who goes to the police to report about an incident involving another baptized and dedicated witness (especially an elder or a ministerial servant) brings a bad name to Jehovah and his organization. To the greatest extent available, witnesses are expected to resolve matters with the elders first. If they go to the police first, the congregation will frown upon that one. Elders can spread rumors to help the congregation in declaring that person as a bad association, and thus isolate that person from the congregation. It wont be an official sanction, but an unofficial one.

  • December 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    The “Two Witness” rule is not a “blanket” rule if one lets “scripture interpret scripture” as the WTBS has often claimed. Jehovah said in the book of Genesis that Abel’s blood was a witness against Cain and that it was crying out to Jehovah from the dirt. In the case of sexual abuse, other bodily fluids are ‘crying out to Jehovah’ and I hope that He allows this Organization to be disciplined and cleansed by resounding legal defeats earth wide.

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