Press Release

Jane Doe Files Lawsuit Against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Former Church Leader For Childhood Sexual Abuse

Filed in California Superior Court, plaintiff alleges a former Secretary to the Bishop at LDS Corporation sexually abused her when she was twelve and thirteen years old

Alameda County, California – A new child sexual abuse lawsuit has been filed against defendants The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, former Secretary to the Bishop at LDS Corporation Craig Allen Harward, and other church leaders referred to in the suit as Does 1-50. The plaintiff, represented by Singleton Schreiber, alleges she was sexually abused as a child by Mr. Harward, and other church leaders had knowledge of his actions yet didn’t report or try to stop the inappropriate and illegal conduct.

The plaintiff, filing under pseudonym Jane Doe, alleges Craig Allen Harward sexually abused and raped her in the years 2000 and 2001 when the plaintiff was a child. The complaint states that Mr. Harward would, on many occasions, remove the plaintiff from bible class with permission of class leaders and take her to another location where the sexual abuse was perpetrated, among other allegations and scenarios of sexual abuse to which plaintiff was subjected.

The defendant, Craig Allen Harward, has been accused of sexually abusing at least 10 children and pleaded guilty in 2004 to charges of the sexual abuse of four children over a six-year period, for which he was sentenced 14 years in prison. Since 2001, more than 150 of the church’s leaders have been accused of sexually abusing children, indicating church leaders have been aware of this systemic issue within their ranks for decades.

“Both The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Craig Allen Harward have a track record of perpetuating sexual abuse against children of the church, truly reprehensible acts for which the defendants must be held to account. The plaintiff will never be able to forget what happened to her or erase the pain of those years, but we are seeking justice to the fullest extent of the law to deliver the plaintiff with some semblance of relief and acknowledgement of her pain and suffering,” said Brett Schreiber, partner at Singleton Schreiber and counsel for the plaintiff.  

The causes of action include sexual battery; negligence; negligent hiring, supervision, and retention; negligent supervision; negligent failure to warn, train, or educate, breach of fiduciary duty; and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The case is Jane Doe v. THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, CRAIG ALLEN HARWARD, and DOES 1 through 50, case #24cv082728, filed in California Superior Court for the County of Alameda.

Singleton Schreiber is a client-centered law firm, specializing in mass torts/multi-district litigation, fire litigation, personal injury/wrongful death, civil rights, and environmental law. Over the last decade, the firm has recovered more than $2.5 billion for clients who have been harmed and sought justice. The firm also has the largest fire litigation practice in the country, having represented over 20,000 victims of wildfire, most notably serving plaintiffs in litigation related to the 2023 Maui wildfires, the Colorado Marshall wildfire, the Washington Gray wildfire, and others.

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