16:17 GMT +324 June 2019
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    McKenna Denson speaks out at monthly fast-and-testimony meeting in Arizona and calls out her alleged abusers in front of congregants.

    Colorado Woman Accuses Former Mormon Leader of Rape in Chapel (VIDEO)

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    A Colorado woman suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over allegations of a sexual assault spoke at a monthly fast-and-testimony meeting in Arizona on Sunday and called out her alleged abuser in front of congregants.

    McKenna Denson, who was enrolled at Utah's Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) in the 1980s, alleges that Joseph Bishop, who at the time served as the program's president, raped her in a secret basement room at the facility in 1984.

    During the two minutes Denson had at the pulpit, she recalled the day of her assault and announced that several Mormon leaders had worked together to cover up Bishop's alleged crimes.

    ​"The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are covering a sexual predator that lives in your ward," Denson says in the video. "His name is Joseph Bishop. He was the MTC president in 1984 when he raped me in the basement of the MTC."

    Two seconds later, Denson is approached by a man in a gray suit, who suggests she cut her testimony short and speak with officials after the meeting. After another man moves toward Denson, she puts her foot down, saying, "No. No. I have more to say."

    "In order to keep the church safe, we need to hold sexual predators accountable, whether they are pedophiles or whether they are rapists like Joseph Bishop," she says, before the man in the gray suit eventually escorts her off the stage.

    A second video posted on the NewNameNoah YouTube channel shows Denson outside of the Arizona church, telling another man who appears to be Bishop's son, "Your dad raped me at the MTC."

    ​The man quickly replies, saying, "Yeah, right." Denson later urges the man to "listen to the audio."

    The Colorado resident previously tracked down Bishop in Arizona in 2017 and confronted him about the alleged attack. In that recorded conversation, Bishop said he couldn't recall the assault, but apologized and confessed to other incidents, ABC News reported.

    Following the confrontation, Denson took to Facebook to say that Bishop was indeed in the audience, and that it was his son, Steven, who called for church officials to interrupt her testimony.

    Eric Hawkins, a spokesperson for the church, issued a statement to Utah news station Fox 13, explaining the matter.

    "Once each month, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participate in a worship service that includes an opportunity for members to share their testimonies of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His gospel," the statement reads. "It is disappointing that anyone would interrupt such a worship service to bring attention to their own personal cause."

    "Recording and posting of these disruptions on social media to seek public attention and media coverage, sadly, shows an unfortunate lack of respect for others. We respectfully request that those with personal grievances find other means to communicate their messages than disrupting the sanctity of a worship service," the release added.

    Denson's confrontation comes weeks after a judge threw out many of the claims of her lawsuit because the statute of limitations had expired. She only had four years to file sexual assault charges against Bishop from the time the alleged incident occurred.

    The ruling did, however, allow a claim against the church for fraud to proceed, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The fraud claim relates to fellow Mormon leaders presenting Bishop as a "safe and trustworthy leader."


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    Sexual Assault, Rape, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Utah, Colorado, Arizona
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