Exclusive: The woman at the center of the MTC abuse scandal shares her story
(KUTV)- When the woman, who KUTV is not going to identify, was told she was going on a mission in the mid-'80s, she was elated. Until her worst nightmare happened: she was betrayed by one of her trusted LDS Church leaders.
“When I went to the MTC, all I wanted to do was serve the Lord,” the woman said.
About a month later she was destroyed by what she found, in the shape of a man, she called a predator.
“And I got the MTC and the experience I had with Joseph Bishop crushed, it crushed my soul, it took everything of beauty and joy away from me,” she said.
The woman told 2News Bishop had been grooming her, taking her out of class to talk about the sexual abuse she had suffered as a child. She said he seemed to enjoy the discussion, then one day he invited her to a place he called, “special.”
"He didn't tell me there was a bed or a TV or a VCR down there, he just said it was this really special room,” she said.
“I was nervous and uncomfortable, and I should have listened to that feeling."
Once she and Bishop got into the small room, he advanced on her.
“He tried to kiss me and I pushed him off, I was like, ‘oh my gosh, here's this old man, I'm 21 years old,” she said. “Then he pulled my blouse and rips my buttons off. It had little pearl buttons, then he ripped the back of my skirt, it was an A-line skirt, and then with one hand he pulled my garment and my pantyhose down, there he was, trying to rape me."
The woman said she did get away from him, but that she felt like she invited the attack.
“And I thought, It was my fault for following him down there, therefore the whole thing was my fault."
The woman tried to tell officials in the LDS Church on multiple occasions including her bishop.
2News documented as many as four times when the woman tried to speak out to church leaders, but the woman says she had told as many as 10 different church leaders about the alleged abuse.
“Oh no, oh no, I have been talking to bishops and stake presidents for years; one bishop in Colorado Springs called me a liar and wouldn't even talk to me."
The woman said she is not trying to “bring down” the LDS Church, but she wants to see the organization change.
“I'm not interested in bringing down the Church, I love the Church, I'm not Mormon and I will never be Mormon again, but I have great respect for members of the church, this is about bringing down a man who's a predator,” she said.
When asked if she thinks Bishop left behind others victims, she said: “I am confident there are other victims."