Jehovah's Witnesses Sex Abuse

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

Jehovah's Witnesses Sue Organization Alleging Sex Abuse As Children

August 12, 2019 - 3:07 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Two Jehovah’s Witness filed lawsuits against the organization Monday claiming they were abused by elders as children.

Heather Steel, now 48-years-old, says she was still in diapers when she was molested by Jehovah’s Witness Elder Donald Nicholson in the mid-1970s.

“It started out as fondling and stuff but it did go to oral and it did go into actual rape after many years and by the time I was about 10-years-old,” she told reporters.

She says she was told to remain silent about the abuse most her life.

“He had used Jehovah when I would question things and it would be about obeying my elders and respecting parents,” she explained.

Nicholson served three years in an upstate prison but was released and reinstated as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New Jersey in 1992.

Meanwhile, Michael Ewing says he was also abused for three years as a young teen by ministerial servant Mike Rust.

“I would probably see him four, five times a week. My parents loved him, they did not know what was going on. I did not know how to tell them what was going on. I was ashamed,” he said.

Both he and Rust were kicked out of the organization for homosexual activity.

Irwin Zalkin has filed 26 lawsuits on behalf of child victims in wake of New York’s new law, which opens a one-ear window for victims of sexual abuse to sue their offenders regardless of when the abuse occurred.

“There are molesters out there. They're knocking on your door. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been flying a little bit under the radar and we wanna make sure that that doesn't continue,” Zalkin said.