Candace Conti says the abuse began when she was 9 years old, distributing Bibles door to door with a fellow churchgoer, a loud, hulking man named Jonathan Kendrick.
It was the mid-1990s in Fremont, Calif. Conti’s parents were having marital problems, her mother was sick and distracted. So the little girl found family in her tight-knit Jehovah’s Witness congregation — and Kendrick found a victim.
She later learned she was not Kendrick’s first victim, that he had been convicted in 1994 of child molesting. That led to her suing the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc. — the corporation that oversees Jehovah’s Witnesses — on the grounds that the elders of her congregation knew of Kendrick’s record and did nothing to protect her.
Oh, but, you know, insular, secretive religions shouldn’t be scrutinized by public institutions, right?