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Utah lawmaker told Mormon bishop not to report child sex abuse

File image: Paul Adams
U.S. Border Patrol
/

A Utah lawmaker and prominent attorney for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints advised a church bishop not to report a parishioner's confession of child sex abuse to authorities. It's a decision that allowed the abuse to continue for years, according to records filed in a lawsuit.

Records show Utah Republican State Rep. Merrill F. Nelson took the initial call from a bishop reporting that church member Paul Adams had confessed to sexually abusing his daughters.

The two pages of records from a log of calls fielded by a law firm representing the church and the deposition of a church official show Nelson also had multiple conversations over a two-year span with two bishops who knew of the abuse.

Adams was arrested by Homeland Security agents in 2017 after law enforcement officials in New Zealand
discovered one of the videos he made showing the abuse.

Adams died by suicide in custody before he could stand trial for the crimes.
.