The story is painfully familiar. Children are sexually abused in a closed-off cult that is averse to secular justice. The victims either don’t dare accuse their influential tormentors, or, if they do, no one believes them. If the leaders can finally be convinced that the abuse took place, the offenders receive a slap on the wrist; and within a few months or years, as scrutiny slackens, the abuse cycle begins anew, with fresh prey.
ABC Nightline presents the case of Candace Conti, now in her 20s, who says she was sexually assaulted many times when she was a child, by a fellow Jehovah’s Witness named Jonathan Kendrick.
When Candace was 9 years old she says she was abused by a well-liked member of her small congregation in Fremont, California. While door-to-door evangelizing, which Candace would do without her parents, she says Jonathan Kendrick began taking her to his house and molesting her. She testified that he abused her several times a month for what she says felt like two years.