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Religion group linked to Amy Coney Barrett urges leaders to report sexual abuse claims

The pinnacle of the secretive Christian religion group Folks of Reward, which reportedly counts the supreme court docket justice Amy Coney Barrett as a member, has referred to as on its leaders to report any allegations of earlier sexual abuse to a lawyer the group has employed to analyze such claims.

The letter from Craig Lent to the leaders of the group, who’re often known as coordinators, was despatched shortly after one of many group’s former members, Sarah Kuehl, shared her personal story of alleged childhood abuse by the hands of a member who lived with the household.

In a letter to members written in November, despatched shortly after Kuehl had shared her allegations of childhood sexual abuse with the Guardian, Kuehl described how Barrett’s nomination to the excessive court docket had triggered emotions in her due to the way by which Folks of Reward had allegedly tried to discourage her from discussing the abuse.

Kuehl stated she hoped that coming ahead would result in extra “transparency and honesty” in regards to the subject.

In response to that letter, Lent despatched his personal e mail to Folks of Reward’s leaders by which he stated “no phrases of ours can do justice to the horrors Ms Kuehl skilled”.

“To Ms Kuehl, we lengthen our prayers for consolation and therapeutic and our honest compassion,” he stated. He additionally identified that the alleged abuse occurred within the Nineteen Seventies, when Kuehl’s dad and mom belonged to a precursor group to Folks of Reward that was referred to as Servants of the Lord.

In his letter, Lent didn’t explicitly reply to Kuehl’s request for leaders to create an nameless discussion board for survivors of abuse to return ahead. In her letter, Kuehl stated she was conscious that different survivors of abuse had come ahead to talk to Diane Doolittle, a lawyer from the agency Quinn Emanuel Urquart & Sullivan employed by the group, however that others feared attainable retribution in the event that they did.

Lent stated Doolittle had been employed to conduct an unbiased investigation and that she had “intensive expertise” within the space of sexual abuse and misconduct.

“We count on this investigation to be concluded quickly, and you may count on to listen to extra from us,” Lent stated. “Till then, please know that we take into account allegations of sexual misconduct very severely and invite anybody with details about any acts of kid sexual abuse to behave according to our insurance policies, which embody instantly reporting to the suitable authorities.”

A spokesperson for Folks of Reward didn’t reply to a Guardian request for remark.

Barrett didn’t face any questions on her reported membership in Folks of Reward throughout her affirmation listening to. Over the course of the listening to, the Guardian and different media shops reported on allegations by former members that the group – a part of a Christian charismatic motion that practices talking in tongues and prophecy – practices strict hierarchy and at instances controlling habits.

The group, whose leaders are all male, can be staunchly against same-sex marriage and colleges affiliated with the group don’t, in impact, enable the kids of homosexual dad and mom to attend the college.

Barrett has stated she is a “trustworthy Catholic” however that her spiritual beliefs wouldn’t “bear within the discharge of my duties as a choose”.

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