Church leaders refused to co-operate with a police investigation into a sex attack by one of their congregation on a teenage girl.

Jehovah’s witness Paul Atkin has now been jailed for five years after admitting to sexual activity with a 15-year-old.

A court heard the South Shields branch of the church carried out their own investigation after the allegation came to light and Atkin was booted out, but when police came knocking, church officials refused to help what was then a rape allegation, on the grounds of confidentiality.

Prosecutor Deborah Smith told Newcastle Crown Court: “It would appear there was some form of investigation by the church. We know the defendant was disfellowshipped as a consequence of that investigation but there has been no disclosure of any minutes of meetings with the defendant and the elders have refused to provide statements to the police, despite the fact the defendant is no longer a member of their congregation, on the grounds of confidentiality.”

CHRONICLE LIVE

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Commentary:  

This is what happens when a religious organization comes under control of lawyers. Whereas, the Scriptures plainly state that the “superior authorities” stand placed in their relative positions by the will of God and they serve as his civil ministers to punish evil doers, and all should be in subjection to them (unless they contravene the law of God), the Society’s lawyers presume to know better. While no doubt their hidden motive is to protect the Watchtower’s coffers in the event a pedophile or rapist sues them, the reality is they refuse to plead the legal case of Jehovah’s sheep who have been raped and abused. Little do they realize they have been ensnared by the Devil and now must suffer the consequences of being an outright enemy of God. 

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