TUtah Mormon bishop accused of failing to report child abuse

The Salt Lake Tribune/August 23, 2011

The vice president of the Duchesne County School Board, who also is an LDS bishop, is accused of failing to report a child-abuse case.

Gordon Lamont Moon, 43, was charged this week with tampering with a witness, a third-degree felony, and failure to report abuse of a child, a misdemeanor.

Moon, Duchesne County Attorney Stephen Foote and Duchesne County Sheriff Travis Mitchell could not be reached Tuesday evening for comment.

Utah law requires clergy to notify law enforcement if they learn of abuse unless the information comes only from the confidential confession of the offender.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind and is extremely proactive in its efforts to protect children and heal victims from this societal plague,” spokesman Scott Trotter said. “Bishops are instructed on how to report abuse and to follow applicable law. “

Trotter said he did not know whether Moon would continue to serve as bishop during the case or whether the church would be involved in Moon’s legal representation.

School Board President Kim Harding said no action had been taken in connection to Moon’s position on the board.

“As far as I know, the other members don’t have any authority” to affect the service of another elected official.

Moon represents the communities of Duchesne, Fruitland, Strawberry and Bridgeland on the school board. His term ends Dec. 31, 2012.

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