KUTV Channel 2 News
Salt Lake City, Utah
Written by: Doug G. Ware

Email: dware@kutv2.com

SALT LAKE CITY –  Several men have filed a $25 million lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, claiming that they were sexually abused by a Sunday school teacher more than 20-years ago – and the church did nothing about it.

The suit is brought by six men in the Portland, Ore. Area who say the incidents of abuse happened between 1980 and 1985 – when they were adolescents.  The accused is Timur Dykes, 51, who at the time taught Sunday school at a Portland ward, was an LDS home teacher and local Boy Scout leader.
Now, Dykes is listed in the Oregon state sex offender registry for a case unrelated to the church allegations.  But the lawsuit alleges that Dykes was also a predator in the early 1980s, and the LDS church even knew about it.

“Both [the LDS church and Boy Scouts] knew everything they needed to know about Dykes,” said Kelly Clark, an attorney for the accusers.  “[They] kept him in positions with access to children for another several years.”

Clark points out that a report of sexual abuse against Dykes was reported as early as 1981, and that the LDS church even conducted its own investigation into the matter.  However, Dykes did not lose his ability to continue interacting with children.

“The LDS Church absolutely and adamantly condemns any form of child abuse,” said Steve English, an Oregon attorney representing the LDS Church.  “It appears the claims of abuse happened during scouting activities. We don’t know how he gained access to the victims. The church would never knowingly put someone in contact with an abuser.”

The accusers, however, wonder why such remarks were not made 25-years ago.

“Don’t tell us today what you believe about child abuse. Tell us what you did back then to protect these boys,” Clark said.

The men are seeking $25 million from the LDS Church as compensation, in addition to punitive damages.