Mormon appears in court charged with child abuse

Cambridge News, UK/August 15, 2008

A Mormon involved in youth activities at his church has appeared in court accused of years of sexual abuse.

Martyn Conway, a former member of the congregation at the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints in Cambridge's Cherry Hinton Road, is alleged to have committed serious sexual indecency on two boys under the age of 16 in the 1980s and 1990s.

One incident is said to have taken place in a room at the church after Conway - entrusted with the building's keys - let himself and the child in after hours.

The 48-year-old former postman, of Princess Court, Hills Road, Cambridge, faces eight charges claiming he carried out persistent abuse over several years on one of the boys.

Conway, who denies all charges against him, is also accused of carrying out a serious sexual act on the second youngster in the 1990s.

Opening the trial at Cambridge Crown Court, Tim Brown, for the prosecution, told the jury: "The thing common to both boys is the church and Conway became someone to be trusted to look after and mentor the children.

"This case is about events that took place a long time ago. It is a feature of these sorts of cases that, very often, it takes time for things to come out."

It was not until last year that the younger of Conway's alleged victims - both now grown men - felt able to go to police to explain what had happened to him, although he had confided in his mother two years earlier, the court heard.

After police became involved, the older alleged victim also "found the courage" to speak out.

In video evidence, the first man described how Conway began the abuse by being "huggy", which Conway said was alright because it was "a church thing".

"He would say he loved me, but said that was fine because that was a church thing too," he said.

The abuse escalated from fondling over the boy's clothes to Conway's insistence on being massaged.

Trips to the seaside and camping followed which the alleged victim described as "just an excuse to get me in a place where I was naked", followed by more serious sexual acts.

Conway, he said, made his "skin crawl" but made him swear to secrecy. Making it clear he did not want the sexual activity to continue, the boy made a pact with Conway and got him to sign it, in a bid to get him to promise that he would not touch him any more, the court heard.

But Conway soon reneged on the deal, he said, and the boy felt there was "no escape" from him.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.