Navajo Nation Wants Mormon Church Lawsuit in Tribal Court
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Navajo Nation wants a lawsuit against the Mormon Church over the alleged sexual abuse of four Navajo children heard in tribal court.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the tribe's attorneys filed a motion Friday asking a federal judge in Salt Lake City to dismiss the suit until after it goes through tribal proceedings.
According to the motion, the attorneys argue that having the case go through federal court challenges the tribe's sovereignty. Church attorneys say their constitutional religious freedoms could be denied in a tribal court.
Two men and two women say they were sexually abused between the 1960s and early '80s while in a church-run foster program. The Indian Student Placement Program placed thousands of Navajo children in Mormon foster homes in Utah, Idaho and New Mexico.