Activist disrupts LDS Conference: 'Stop protecting sexual predators'
SALT LAKE CITY —
(KUTV) - A young woman shouted, “Stop protecting sexual predators!” at the LDS Spring General Conference Saturday.
“I couldn’t just stay quiet. I felt I was obligated to speak in order to be able to help these individuals that desperately needed a voice,” said Crystal Legionaires. “I just did it. I felt like I had to.”
A survivor of sexual assault, herself, Legionaires said she has heard from dozens of other survivors since she shared her message Saturday.
“I felt conviction. We might be actually able to get somewhere and change a lot of the problematic ideals that have surfaced throughout the church,” she said.
Legionaires is no longer active in the LDS faith, but other active members heard her message. Fernanda Almeada and her family were hopeful Church leaders would help find a solution and assistance for sexual abuse in the community.
“Any problem can happen anywhere. But when it appears in a close community, each community can solve its problems,” said Almeada, who attended Conference with her family. “If it appears in Church, the leaders can solve this.”
Legionaires wanted to see the church set up an internal program to educate leaders about what sexual assault is and also to investigate any sexual assault allegations involving church leaders.
In light of recent allegations of sexual misconduct surfacing, the Church has said they are “committed to bringing accountability,” and consider sexual assault allegations “very serious and deeply disturbing.”