Latter-day sinners

Lisa Davis, a Sacramento native and investigative journalist.

Lisa Davis, a Sacramento native and investigative journalist.

In The Sins of Brother Curtis, writer Lisa Davis details the career of one of the most prolific serial child molesters in the United States, Frank Curtis. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was “called” to serve as a Sunday school teacher and Boy Scout leader, which gave him ample access to children.

He molested boys in several Portland, Ore., wards from 1976 to 1991. His last victim filed a lawsuit against the LDS Church, and it was discovered that the Church had, in fact, known for years that Curtis was a danger to children.

Davis is a Sacramento native and a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School who started her journalism career at Sacramento City College.

I found it interesting that the disciplinary records for Curtis listed “homosexuality” instead of “pedophilia” as the reason for his ex-communication …

There’s no real explanation for that. … I was only able to discover that because of some documents that were entered into the record before the records were sealed. … It was a tremendously interesting detail to me that those records revealed that he’d been ex-communicated by the LDS because of “homosexuality” rather than child molesting.

It also struck me as absolutely outrageous that at least one of the boys, a victim, was punished by the Church.

So many parts of this story—everything about this story—was outrageous: The amount of time that it was allowed to continue, the number of victims, the ferocious fight to keep it secret, the constitutional issues about religious belief vs. conduct. …What happened was that Frank Curtis had been found out and ex-communicated by the Church structure at one point. He went through a period of repentance and then was rebaptized. After that, he once again had access to children through Sunday school and church activities.

How long did you work on this book?

About eight years. … I’d put it aside and do other things, but really it took eight years. I’m ready to end my relationship with the dead pedophile. … One of my sources said that, if you’d lined up 100 people, including Frank, and asked him to number them for who was likely to be a pedophile, Frank would be 98th.

Complied from Bibliolatry

This is a short excerpt. A longer version of this interview is on Kel Munger’s book blog.