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Suit Filed Against Hillsboro Jehovah's Witnesses, Alleging 1980s Abuse

Lawyers filed suit against the Jehovah’s Witnesses Monday, for alleged abuse against two children in a Hillsboro congregation back in the 1980s.

Velicia Alston and an unidentified man are claiming the abuse.

Velicia Alston at a press conference Monday.

Velicia Alston at a press conference Monday.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

Alston, 39, says she’s not satisfied with Jehovah’s Witnesses response, even though the man was expelled after she came forward.

“I was told not to talk about it with anybody in the congregation, none of my friends that were around my age,” she said.  “And to be honest, it kind of made me angry because I didn’t feel that was something that you should not tell people.”

Alston and her co-plantiff are seeking more than $10 million in damages. Her lawyer says there’s a culture of silence within the Jehovah’s Witnesses that allows predators to get away with abuse.

Mario Moreno is a lawyer at the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ head office in New York.  He says he has yet to see the case, but expects it has no merit.