Thursday, April 7, 2011

LDS Church Denies Attempting To Impede Justice In The Susan Brock Case; Fulton Brock Outraged Over Rumors Of His Involvement

The Susan Brock case has roared back to life in Arizona. On March 25th, 2011, Susan Brock's daughter Rachel Brock, who was originally arrested in December and released without being charged, was re-arrested and charged with seven counts of misconduct with a minor and one count of furnishing obscene materials to a minor, the same minor victimized by Susan Brock.

Then it was reported on April 4th that Chandler detectives served a search warrant to get handwriting samples from Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock, who is the estranged husband of Susan and the father of Rachel. Police did not reveal the reason for the sample, and a court has sealed the warrant, although the Phoenix New Times reports that the warrant is in connection with the case against Brock's daughter, Rachel. Furthermore, Fulton Brock came under fire for bringing Susan food in jail, which is banned by the rules, and kissing his wife goodbye after a visit. This has raised questions about how truly "outraged" Fulton Brock might be.

Disturbed by the implications of complicity on his part, Fulton Brock then released the following statement:

“I am surprised by these new requests and questions. It is not conceivable that any decent human being could somehow conspire or condone such acts, if they knew them to be occurring. I most certainly did not. My family has been torn apart. Another family has been terribly harmed. My wife lied to me. She is sick and will be sentenced this week. I am in the final stages of divorce. I have cooperated with law enforcement and will of course continue to do so. In turn, I hope they will conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism.”

In response to innuendos and allegations that local LDS Church leaders might have attempted to delay justice or even cover up Susan Brock's misdeeds, Kim Farah, an official spokeswoman for the Church, issued this statement published in several area media outlets, including the Arizona Republic:

"This matter was reported to the police when it was first disclosed to Church authorities before Susan Brock confessed. One of the victims reported to the police as encouraged and facilitated by the Church.

Arizona law is clear that no priest can disclose any confession even when it concerns child abuse. Nevertheless, Church leaders worked effectively within the law, and with those involved, to facilitate prompt reporting to the police while protecting the victim.

It is absolutely false to suggest that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints engaged in doing anything other than help bring the perpetrator to justice in this tragic case.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abhors child abuse and does all it can to prevent it and help victims heal."

During the April 6th hearing before Pinal County Presiding Superior Court Judge R. Carter Olson, two separate and radically perspectives on Susan Brock were presented. On one side, psychologist John Toma testified for the defense that Brock showed remorse and said she needed to be punished. A series of tests showed that Brock presents a low risk of repeating the crimes and she is not a sexual deviant, according to the evaluator, who also recommended Brock be rehabilitated in the community.

On the other side, Deputy Pinal County Attorney Jason Holmberg described Brock as a master of manipulation who molested and damaged the teen. Holmberg said she used money and religion to lure and molest (the victim). Her goal: To take and mold him to be her lover, Holmberg said. In so doing, he said, she damaged the boy.

In cross examination, Holmberg questioned Toma about his report. Toma indicated that Brock was upset in how she was being portrayed to the public and was angry over what she was accused of doing compared to what she actually did. He also indicated that she blamed others, including her husband, for her behavior.

On Thursday April 7th, the prosecution is set to wrap up arguments and the defense is expected to present more of its case. The hearing is scheduled to be concluded and Susan Brock's sentence pronounced on Friday August 8th. She faces anywhere from seven to 15 years in prison, with a presumptive sentence of 10 years. Update: On April 7th, Susan Brock was sentenced to 13 years in prison, and after release, will be placed on lifetime probation and be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

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