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Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Terry Monheim, a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses church in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania? Monheim has been convicted for sexually abusing a young woman in 2002 and 2003, but our attorneys believe that additional victims may have yet to step forward. We can help, contact a Jehovah's Witness sexual assault attorney today.
Sexual abuse can raise a powerful and painful storm of emotions. We understand. You may be struggling to deal with confusing and difficult feelings of anger, shock, grief or shame. Please know that this was not your fault. You did not cause what happened to you. Sexual abuse need not define your life. You can recover. Our experienced Pennsylvania sex abuse lawyers are here to help.
Some sexual abuse survivors may have powerful legal options. You may be eligible to raise your voice and pursue justice by filing a sexual assault lawsuit. The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society has already faced at least one lawsuit filed over Terry Monheim’s abuse.
Learn more about your legal options in a free consultation. Our compassionate legal team can help you step forward with confidence. We believe you, and we believe your voice must be heard. Find more information about your rights at no charge and no obligation.
Terry Monheim was sent to prison for her abuse of a young woman and fellow member of the Spring Grove Jehovah’s Witnesses church. She was sentenced to nearly 4 years in York County Prison, and also faced a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the victim.
The case drew in the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Spring Grove Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was settled for an undisclosed amount on the fifth day of trial in February 2017.
In her lawsuit, the victim accused Jehovah’s Witnesses officials of failing to prevent the ongoing sexual abuse. Her family reported the abuse to church elders, but say the elders did nothing about the allegations. Had they forwarded the complaint on to secular police authorities, the family argued, their daughter could have been saved from further abuse.
“[The plaintiff’s] main motivation is exposing that the policies of the Watchtower and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not following mandatory reporting laws in Pennsylvania,” her attorneys said prior to the trial’s commencement. “That’s what led to this happening to her, and continuing to happen to other victims within the religion, as well.”
The attorney also pointed a Jehovah’s Witnesses policy that requires two eyewitnesses to testify to the occurrence of sexual molestation before the congregation will do anything.
The victim was a teenager when the abuse began. She sexually assaulted over the course of two years, from 2002 to 2003, by Terry Monheim, who was in her late 40s and early 50s at the time. Monheim was charged for her crimes after the victim went to the Southwestern Regional Police Department to make a report in 2011, after becoming an adult.
This is not the first case to accuse the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of concealing sexual abuse reports from secular authorities. Official church doctrine instructs elders to handle all allegations of sexual abuse internally, rather than submitting them to outside scrutiny.
In 2012, Monheim pleaded guilty to charges of indecent assault of a person less than 16 and corruption of minors. She was sentenced to 3 years and 23 months in York County Prison, which ran concurrently with 5 years of probation.