What did the Church Know About Frederick M. Edvalson?
Frederick M. Edvalson was a known child offender. The leadership of running and supervising the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Mormon church have traditionally held positions of incredible power and influence over its community members. When people like Frederick M. Edvalson grossly violate the trust of their post and use their control to sexually abuse and assault children during their tenure and institutions know and cover it up-it destroys trust and lives. Victims often struggle to accept that betrayal and its long-term impact on their lives. It can take many years before they can speak out about their experiences.
Sadly, from the information gathered in investigative reports that have become public in recent years and months, it is clear that child abusers within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Mormon Church were known to the elders and leaders and protected rather than reported, which allowed the abuse to continue, sometimes for decades. While victims have struggled to have their voices heard, many states have made it easier to hold child sexual abusers and the institutions that enable them accountable for their misdeeds.
If Frederick M. Edvalson or another church member abused you, our experienced religious institution sexual abuse lawyers can help you seek the justice you deserve. We know it can be hard to talk about these experiences, but our compassionate lawyers are here to listen and provide knowledgeable legal guidance. We provide free, confidential case evaluations where you can learn more about your rights and options under your state’s laws.
Who was Frederick M. Edvalson?
Fredrick M. Edvalson was born in September of 1920 and served as a lay minister in Maryland’s Mormon church. He was well known in the Mormon community, having co-written the 1977 Inspired Version Study Guide-A Key to the Significant Changes. This study guides the reader through the changes Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, made to the King James Bible, known today as either the Inspired Version or Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible.
Less known to the community but not the Church was that he was preying upon and sexually abusing children, using his position within the Church to gain their trust and access. He was arrested and convicted for abusing children in the 1980s and was on probation.
While with the Mormon church as an official at the Prince George’s County Mormon ward, its leadership was fully aware of Edvalson’s status as a convicted child abuser and yet still allowed him to serve in his official capacity, giving him unfettered access to children. He was arrested again for sexually abusing a young girl in 1985. She was ten years old at the time of the abuse. Edvalson abused the little girl for nearly a year, from 1983 to 1984, by luring her into a room within the Church under the guise of providing her “special religious training.” She bravely disclosed, and that led to Edvalson’s third arrest. He pled guilty and got an 8-year sentence.
Edvalson moved to Pleasant Grove, UT, about 36 years ago, around January 1987, and is 102 years old.
How Can A Civil Lawsuit Help Victims Seek Justice For The Trauma They Experienced?
There are many misunderstandings about why a survivor of sexual abuse would choose to file a civil lawsuit. Child sexual abuse takes away so much from the survivors and families impacted. Our society still struggles to find ways to repair the harm done by individual perpetrators and institutions that have covered up child sexual abuse. Outdated statutes of limitations across our country leave too many survivors denied access to justice.
Filing a civil case can be an essential step for survivors and their families in their journey to slowly rebuild their lives and create pathways to healing. Motivation for filing a civil suit is often questioned and unfairly stereotyped as being “all about money. Filing a civil lawsuit can cast survivors as “money hungry” and is weaponized to shame and blame them even more. This couldn’t be further from the truth for survivors of child sexual abuse. The civil justice system offers victims more than just monetary benefits. It gives survivors access to justice, validation, exposure, confrontation, and ultimately some resolution. The resolution allows survivors of sexual abuse to understand and process what happened and create a new path forward without confusion, questions, and fear.
Can I pursue a case against the Church?
Maryland has a new law that eliminated the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits for child sexual abuse. If you were a victim of Frederick M. Edvalson, you could take action against the Church for failing to protect you. The Church of Latter-Day Saints knew of this abuse and did nothing. This negligence has led to victims facing life-altering impacts of his sexual abuse. The Church can be held responsible for its failure to protect you.
We know it can be hard to talk about these experiences. Our compassionate school sexual abuse lawyers are here to listen and provide knowledgeable legal guidance. We provide free, confidential case evaluations where you can learn more about your rights and options under your state’s laws.
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