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McKenna Denson drops sexual abuse lawsuit against Latter-day Saint church

McKenna Denson
Posted at 5:23 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 20:15:57-05

SALT LAKE CITY — McKenna Denson has agreed to drop a lawsuit against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints alleging she was sexually assaulted by a former missionary leader in the 1980s.

Court documents filed Thursday show the mutually agreed ending was not a settlement and each side will bear their own court costs.

Denson of Pueblo, Colorado, accused Phoenix-area resident Joseph L. Bishop of sexually abusing and raping her at the missionary center in 1984. Bishop had served as the president of the Provo Missionary Training Center.

Some of Denson's claims were dismissed because the statute of limitations had passed, but a judge allowed two counts of fraud to stand because an alleged cover-up was discovered.

Bishop had denied the accusations but acknowledged in a police interview that he asked the woman to expose herself when she was 21, according to police documents.

The case had entered settlement talks after Denson's attorney withdrew this year. The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been sexually assaulted, but Denson has agreed to share her story publicly.