UPDATE: A new audio recording has been released on Sept. 5, 2018.
(KUTV) — A Colorado woman is speaking exclusively tonight with 2News after flying to Arizona to publicly confront the man she says sexually assaulted her more than 30 years ago.
She did that in the place where she claims he worships.
McKenna Denson was training as a missionary in 1984 in Provo, when she alleges Joseph Bishop, the Missionary Training Center’s president at the time, raped her in a basement room.
On Sunday, Denson took the pulpit in Arizona to bear testimony. While at the microphone, she says she looked directly at Bishop and told the congregation what she says he did to her all those years ago. Denson had multiple cameras rolling at the time, which captured what happened next. That video was posted to YouTube on Monday.
As she is speaking, a man — believed to be Joseph Bishop’s son — is seen whispering to a church leader. Moments later, that man approaches Denson. Then, a second man approaches her. They try to make her leave the pulpit. She declines, telling them to call the police. They later put their hands on her and she claims that they are assaulting her. Eventually, they make her leave the microphone.
Denson said she wanted to be there to warn others in that ward. She said many in the congregation looked uncomfortable and shocked, but adds that if she were still attending church and there were a sexual predator in her ward, she would want to know.
We also spoke with Denson’s daughter, Emily, via phone, who told us she witnessed at least one of the cameras being knocked from the hands of the person recording at the time. As shocking as that was, she is proud of her mother for having the courage to share her story, she said.
We reached out to the Church regarding the footage of what took place in Arizona on Sunday. The written response from a Church spokesman is below:
Once each month, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participate in a worship service that includes an opportunity for members to share their testimonies of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His gospel. It is disappointing that anyone would interrupt such a worship service to bring attention to their own personal cause. Recording and posting of these disruptions on social media to seek public attention and media coverage, sadly, shows an unfortunate lack of respect for others. We respectfully request that those with personal grievances find other means to communicate their messages than disrupting the sanctity of a worship service.
McKenna Denson's daughter, Emily Denson, talked to 2News about what she witnessed on Sunday while sitting among the congregation.