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No Change in Watchtower Policy

 

In 1988 a letter was sent to all congregations in Canada advising elders that all cases of abuse must be reported to police.  When confronted by the Canadian television program ”Fifth Estate” in 2003, Watchtower Officials cited this letter as proof that allegations of abuse are immediately reported to police.  In that program former home office members reported that cases were routinely not reported when elders were required to call the legal department and report abuse allegations.   Since that time several reports from media have shown that Watchtower Officials have continued to obstruct justice by not reporting child molesters and this policy continues to be an on going practice.  This latest media report identifies 36 year old elder, Wendell Willick that molested a thirteen year girl from 1996 to 1999. When his proclivities were disclosed to his congregation elders he was removed as an elder but not reported to police.  He then remained in the congregation as a member in good standing till 2004 when he was allowed to make the decision to “leave” the religion.  At no time during this period was he reported as a child molester by the elders in his congregation that WERE REQUIRED BY CANADIAN LAW to do so.  Only when the victim after years of silence finally came forward was the pedophile prosecuted. This appears to be an ongoing practice from recent reports in Canada, Mexico, UK,  Australia, and  USA 2, 3, 4, 5.

 

Once again we see the basis of why Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to coddle and support child molesters.  The leadership will sacrifice numerous victims of abuse to keep a supposed “spiritual paradise” reputation intact.  The reality is a “Pedophile Paradise” where children are the victims of religious dogma to keep members under control and donations to support one of the wealthiest religions in the world.     

 

The latest insult to abuse survivors is the October 2007 special issue of the Awake entitled, ”Keep Your Children Safe!”.  The entire article about dealing with the sexual abuse of children actually DISCOURAGES parents from calling the police if a child is abused.  The article goes on to say if a child screams “STOP!” that should be the primary way to prevent molestation.  

 

Pedophiles REJOICE! Apparently have a friends in the writing and legal departments of Jehovah’s Witnesses! 

 

We encourage Jehovah’s Witnesses and the public to let your check book do the talking by not making any donations to the “Worldwide Work Fund” (primary donation vehicle of JWs) until Watchtower leadership writes a letter to all congregations that ENCOURAGES the reporting of all current and past allegations of sexual abuse of children to law enforcement.  It is a simple policy that must be changed, yet arrogant and haughty men ignore the cries of the innocent. When and if that day occurs it will force Jehovah’s Witness pedophiles to find another paradise.

 

Former church elder guilty of sex offence

http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/story.html?id=535b0fce-1520-4251-95b7-258a596f8c63&k=94129

Betty Ann Adam, The StarPhoenix

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A former elder of the Jehovah's Witnesses Lakeview church pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexual exploitation of a teenage girl who was a member of the same congregation.

Wendell Willick, 47, changed his plea and admitted he touched the teenager with his hands and penis over a three-year period between January 1996 and November 1999. He will be sentenced Oct. 5.

The complainant, now 25, was 14 when the offences began and 17 when they ended.

Wendell Willick arrives at Queen's Bench Court Tuesday

Wendell Willick arrives at Queen's Bench Court Tuesday

Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix

Her identity is protected by a publication ban.

"Through the temple and his relationship with the complainant's family, he took a special interest in the complainant, who was experiencing difficulties in her life at the time," Crown prosecutor Sandeep Bains said in an interview after the hearing at Court of Queen's Bench.

"The families were friendly and socialized together extensively. He would have met her when she was 13."

Willick's lawyer Daryl Labach said his client voluntarily gave up his role as an elder in the church several years ago, in part because of the allegations, and left the church entirely in 2004.

The woman went to police with allegations concerning Willick in 2004.

"This whole situation with the complainant had nothing to do with his being an elder at the church," Labach said. "He said the church had absolutely nothing to do with this. The fault's all his.

"He was counseling her as a friend of the family. They were all good friends because they all happened to go to the same church. That's just where they met. He was just trying to help her out in the context of being a good family friend because she had so many problems. Things just ended up going to another level, which he says they shouldn't have."

Bains said the guilty plea represents closure to a lengthy ordeal for the complainant.

"She has had this hanging over her life for over 10 years. There's some relief from this burden that has been there for so long," Bains said.

Willick also resigned this week as CEO of Point 2 Technologies, a Saskatoon-based Internet commerce software company for Realtors and heavy equipment sellers. Willick, his brother and a group of private investors founded the company in 1996 and it has since grown to employ about 100 people here and in Vancouver, said company spokesperson Roger Novjeim.

Willick submitted his resignation last week and the company's board accepted it at a meeting Tuesday, Novjeim said.

"Mr. Willick and the board wanted to separate his personal matter from the company," he said.

Willick pleaded guilty after Justice Martin Popescul rejected his application earlier this week to have the charge stayed.

Labach argued Tuesday the complainant violated a court order to give the judge a diary she referred to in her original, written complaint to the police.

Labach was not satisfied the diary the woman handed over was the only one in existence. While no one but the judge was allowed to see the diary, Labach relied on the judge's finding that the diary he received did not contain any relevant information.

The woman's complaint had stated, "I kept a diary especially during this time." The one she handed in began in March 1999, leading Labach to argue there must have been at least one volume written during the earlier months and years of the sexual offences.

 

Former Jehovah’s Witnesses church elder guilty of sex offence

The Star Phoenix, Canada
Sep. 19, 2007
Betty Ann Adam

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/19400/jehovah-s-witnesses-21

A former elder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Lakeview church pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexual exploitation of a teenage girl who was a member of the same congregation.

Wendell Willick, 47, changed his plea and admitted he touched the teenager with his hands and penis over a three-year period between January 1996 and November 1999. He will be sentenced Oct. 5.

The complainant, now 25, was 14 when the offences began and 17 when they ended.

Her identity is protected by a publication ban.

“Through the temple and his relationship with the complainant’s family, he took a special interest in the complainant, who was experiencing difficulties in her life at the time,” Crown prosecutor Sandeep Bains said in an interview after the hearing at Court of Queen’s Bench.

“The families were friendly and socialized together extensively. He would have met her when she was 13.”

Willick’s lawyer Daryl Labach said his client voluntarily gave up his role as an elder in the church several years ago, in part because of the allegations, and left the church entirely in 2004.

The woman went to police with allegations concerning Willick in 2004.

“This whole situation with the complainant had nothing to do with his being an elder at the church,” Labach said. “He said the church had absolutely nothing to do with this. The fault’s all his.

“He was counselling her as a friend of the family. They were all good friends because they all happened to go to the same church. That’s just where they met. He was just trying to help her out in the context of being a good family friend because she had so many problems. Things just ended up going to another level, which he says they shouldn’t have.”

Bains said the guilty plea represents closure to a lengthy ordeal for the complainant.

“She has had this hanging over her life for over 10 years. There’s some relief from this burden that has been there for so long,” Bains said.

Willick also resigned this week as CEO of Point 2 Technologies, a Saskatoon-based Internet commerce software company for Realtors and heavy equipment sellers. Willick, his brother and a group of private investors founded the company in 1996 and it has since grown to employ about 100 people here and in Vancouver, said company spokesperson Roger Novjeim.

Willick submitted his resignation last week and the company’s board accepted it at a meeting Tuesday, Novjeim said.

“Mr. Willick and the board wanted to separate his personal matter from the company,” he said.

Willick pleaded guilty after Justice Martin Popescul rejected his application earlier this week to have the charge stayed.

Labach argued Tuesday the complainant violated a court order to give the judge a diary she referred to in her original, written complaint to the police.

Labach was not satisfied the diary the woman handed over was the only one in existence. While no one but the judge was allowed to see the diary, Labach relied on the judge’s finding that the diary he received did not contain any relevant information.

The woman’s complaint had stated, “I kept a diary especially during this time.” The one she handed in began in March 1999, leading Labach to argue there must have been at least one volume written during the earlier months and years of the sexual offences.

Labach had hoped to convince the judge the woman’s refusal to co-operate violated Willick’s Charter rights in a way that could only be remedied by throwing the case out of court.

“We always felt there were other diaries which had not been turned over. If a person’s not going to turn it over, it affects my client’s ability to make full answer and defence,” Labach said.

Popescul said he believed the woman, who testified Tuesday that the diary she produced was the only one referred to in her statement and about which she was questioned at the preliminary hearing.

Willick was allowed to remain free pending sentencing, but was ordered to turn over his passport.

He was originally also charged with sexual assault, but was committed to stand trial only on the sexual exploitation charge following a preliminary hearing in 2005.

 

Church Elder Pleads Guilty In Sex Court Case
September 18, 2007

http://www.newstalk980.com/index.php?p=ntnews&action=view_story&id=9906

Willick Wendell was an elder in a Saskatoon Jehovah's Witnesses congregation when he broke the trust of a fourteen year old girl.

In 2002 the girl came forward to police, complaining that the sexual incidents began back in 1996 when she was 14 years old

For the last five years Willick, fought the charges, saying the girl was a willing partner.

The girl, who along with her family were members of the same congregation, says Willick abused his trust and power as an elder at the church.

Tuesday, after unsuccessful motions by the defence, the jury was just settling in to hear the evidence. Then Willick dropped the bombshell - pleading guilty.

He will be sentenced next month.

David Kirton reporting

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Update 11/09/07

Willick sentence expected on Friday

http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/story.html?id=ad03cda7-a1dc-4294-b213-809d05d10862

 
Betty Ann Adam
Saskatchewan News Network; CanWest News Service

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

SASKATOON -- A 14-year-old victim of sexual exploitation was on a weekend pass from the psychiatric ward the first time Wendell Willick had sexual intercourse with her, a Queen's Bench justice heard Tuesday.

Willick, 47, admitted in September he touched the teenager with his hands and penis over a three-year period between January 1996 and November 1999.

He was originally charged with sexual assault as well, but was discharged on that count after a preliminary hearing where the judge heard evidence the sexual relationship was consensual, said defence lawyer Daryl Labach. Justice Marty Popescul will hand down his sentence Friday.

The girl's family had moved to Saskatoon a year earlier and had met Willick and his family through the Jehova's Witness congregation, where he was an elder. The two families became good friends.

The girl was in the midst of a troubled adolescence, having once run away from home for three days and had repeatedly cut herself, said Crown prosecutor Sandeep Bains.

Willick sometimes tutored the girl and was counseling her at the behest of her mother and step-father. The girl often baby-sat Willick's children and had even gone on a summer vacation with them, Bains said.

The girl's parents and Willick were the only visitors she was allowed to have during the seven weeks in early 1996 that she spent in the Hantelman Centre, which is the psychiatric ward of Royal University Hospital. The girl was sometimes sedated while there and was under psychiatric and medical care, Bains said.

The parents were out of town when the girl was given a weekend pass to visit the Willick home. The Willick children were asleep while the victim watched a movie with Willick and his wife.

After his wife went to bed, Willick gave the girl a beer. He then kissed, fondled, undressed her and had intercourse with her, Bains said.

The victim, now 25, recalled during the preliminary hearing that she was wearing Mickey Mouse underpants at the time. She said the advance began without warning and she did not know what was going on, Bains said.

Afterwards, Willick expressed remorse for the sake of his family. When the girl returned to the hospital, she didn't tell anyone there, or her parents, what had occurred, partly out of concern for Willick's family, Bains said.

Bains outlined nine more occasions of intercourse over the next four years. Labach said there were additional incidents of kissing, fondling and oral sex.

When the girl was about 15, rumors about Willick and the girl had circulated within the congregation, leading to a group of elders coming to the girl's house to confront her about them. Willick had come to the house before the elders arrived and that influenced the girl to deny the rumors, Bains said.

Throughout the abuse, Willick continued to tutor the girl and counsel her. She went on a vacation to Alaska with the Willick family in 1997. By the time the girl was 17, she was employed by Willick's computer software company, but worked out of her home, Labach said. She sometimes called him at work and went there when he had open time and sexual activity took place, Labach said.

Labach said the fact that there was never any violence and that the girl was a willing participant in the sexual activity were mitigating factors. Willick has no other criminal record. The sexual contact ceased in 1999 when the girl was 17.

The girl's trust and spiritual beliefs were shattered, she said in a victim impact statement read into the court record. "It made me feel like a person of no value with no voice ... Parts of myself are missing," she wrote.

http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=9ab94717-9097-4894-a6bd-bf6e88d81203&k=74159

Jehovah's Witness elder gets three years for sexual exploitation

Betty Ann Adam , CanWest News Service

Published: Friday, November 09, 2007

SASKATOON -- A former Jehovah's Witness church elder has been sentenced to three years in prison for the sexual exploitation of a troubled teenage girl with whom he carried on a four-year relationship.

"Our courts must send a clear message to every person in authority over a child that sexual contact with them will not be tolerated and will result in lengthy periods of imprisonment," Justice Marty Popescul said Friday at the Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench.

 

Wendell Willick, 47, was counselling the girl at the behest of her parents - who were friends of Willick through their church - during the period of the abuse, which began in 1996, when the girl was 14.

 

The court heard during a sentencing hearing that Willick first had sexual intercourse with the girl when she was visiting his home on a weekend pass from a hospital psychiatric ward.

The victim, whose name is protected by a publication ban, was in the midst of a troubled adolescence. She had once run away from home and had repeatedly cut herself.

 

Willick pleaded guilty in September to a charge of sexual exploitation.

The judge did not accept defense lawyer Daryl Labach's submission that the girl's apparent consent lessened the severity of the crime.

 

"As a society we have absolutely rejected the notion that children can properly consent to participation in sexual activity with adults or those who are in a position of trust or authority to them," Popescul said.

"An offence such as this does not require the use of threats or violence because of the power imbalance involved."

 

Willick's wife and adult children sat silently in the front row or the courtroom. The victim, who lives out of province, was not present. Her mother and stepfather sat in a back row. They declined to comment on the sentence.

The girl's trust and spiritual beliefs were shattered, she said in a victim impact statement that was read during the sentencing hearing.

"It made me feel like a person of no value with no voice. . . . Parts of myself are missing," she wrote.

 

Willick voluntarily gave up his role as an elder in the church several years ago, in part because of the allegations, and left the church entirely in 2004, the defense lawyer has said. He also has said Willick was not acting in his capacity as a church elder when the offences occurred.

Willick will be listed on the national sex offender registry for 10 years after he is released and must provide a DNA sample for the national data bank.


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