8 Details About The Mormon Missionary Leader Accused Of Attempted Rape — And How His Victim Posed As A Journalist To Confront Him

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Mormon Leader Accused Of Rape Told Woman In Interview He Has A Sex Addiction
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Joseph L. Bishop is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 1984.

A former LDS Mission Training Center president admitted to sexually assaulting a woman 33 years ago.

The unnamed woman, now 55, posed as a journalist to confront Joseph L. Bishop about the time he allegedly tried to rape her in 1984.

According to Deseret News, the transcript of the December interview was released by MormonLeaks without her permission.

Bishop, now 85, believed he was being interviewed about his accomplishments in the Mormon Church when the woman dropped the bomb about how he allegedly sexually assaulted her years ago while she was a missionary.

“What you did to me destroyed my faith and testimony in priesthood leaders, and in the church,” she said.

During the interview, Bishop admitted he has struggled with a sex addiction for years. He also admitted he had sexually assaulted other women.

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"These allegations are very serious and deeply disturbing," LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement. "If the allegations of sexual assault are true, it would be a tragic betrayal of our standards and would result in action by the church to formally discipline any member who was guilty of such behavior, especially someone in a position of trust."

Here is everything you need to know about Joseph Bishop and his history of sexual assault and addiction:

1. He said he didn’t remember sexually assaulting the woman.

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“Do you remember tearing my blouse, pulling up my skirt, ripping the back of my skirt and trying to rape me?” she asked Bishop, who said he did not recall such an incident.

Bishop told the woman he remembered having conversations with her and things she had told him but had no recollection of sexually assaulting her.

“That part I don’t remember,” Bishop said. He later confessed he is worried there may be others he doesn’t recall.

“I don't remember that, and now I'm worrying about what else don't I remember,” he said.

2. He apologized many times during the interview.

“I have struggled for 33 years with what you did to me. And I am only interested in an apology,” the woman said to Bishop.

Multiple times throughout the two-and-a-half-hour interview Bishop sincerely apologized for what he did.

“I apologize, from the depths of my heart,” Bishop said.

3. There were other women he DID remember.

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“You are not the only one,” Bishop told the woman.

He admitted that he and some other men took a woman’s bikini top off while in Wyoming.

“It did happen,” Bishop said.

Later in the interview, the woman asked if he remembered another girl who was with her in 1984. He said he did and even remembered her name.

“Did you molest her?” the woman asked.

“Yes,” Bishop replied.

Bishop told the interviewer that he gave another woman a back rub that became “too frisky.”

Then, Bishop told the woman about how he liked when his former wife would expose her breasts at dinner.

4. Bishop admitted to having a sexual addiction.

“I have this sexual addiction, what can I say?” Bishop said in the interview. “…I have struggled my whole life on this very issue.”

He told the woman who has accused him that he never sought treatment for his addiction but feels he has overcome it.

“I kept fighting, and I kept trying to pray and this and that and everything else to get over it,” Bishop said. “I'm now, I now feel healed in the sense that I am not tempted.”

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5. She threatened to kill him.

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The woman interviewing Bishop told him that she had threatened to kill him in 2010.

“I have a gun… I know where that bastard lives, I will go shoot that bastard myself,” she recalled saying.

Nobody ever told Bishop of this threat. During the interview, he said that this was the first time he had heard about the woman’s death threat.

6. She reported Bishop but nothing was ever done.

The woman told Bishop that she had reached out to the Mormon Church about the sexual assault several times since it happened but no action was taken.

She said that she reported Bishop to elders of the Church, like Elder Asay, who never addressed the incident with him.

One time, she called officials in Salt Lake (she didn’t specify whether it was the police department or church) and asked if anything had ever been done about her case. The person on the other end of the phone told her she was “not entitled to know.”

“Nobody even came to you. And that, to me, is a bigger problem. A much bigger problem,” the woman said. “Because that means there a lot of women around the world, not just here, that are reporting Salt Lake saying, 'hey, my Bishop, my stake president, my whomever, has done this or this,' and it gets swept under the rug.”

7. He repented.

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Bishop said in the interview that he had repented to Brother Wells about his sexual sins.

He told the woman he had spoken about the incident with her, as well as with other women. He did not specify how many other women there have been.

8. The victim said Bishop could be the Harvey Weinstein of the Mormon Church.

“I don't know how many women there are, but if this story went public, you would be the Harvey Weinstein…of the Mormon Church,” the woman said to Bishop, referring to the sexual assault allegations that rocked Hollywood last year and started the #MeToo movement.

He agreed.

“We share the anger and distress Church members and others feel to learn of incidents where those entrusted with sacred responsibilities violate God’s commandments and harm others,” the Church said in a statement. “Such behavior is repulsive and sinful. The Church is looking into all aspects of the assertions on the recording of Joseph Bishop. This includes the work of outside legal counsel, who are interviewing priesthood leaders, family members, law enforcement officials and others with knowledge of these incidents.”

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