Thu, 9 May 2019
1110: The LDS Church’s Coverup of Sterling Van Wagenen’s Sexual Abuse of Sean Escobar and Several Others Pt. 1
In February of this year, the Truth & Transparency Foundationreleased an audio recording made by Sean Escobar as he confronted his abuser as a child, Sterling Van Wagenen—co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival and director of many LDS Church-produced films, including the films shown in LDS temples. The story of the abuse and its impact has now made national news, spurred by the continuing coverage of The Truth and Transparency Foundationas it was revealed that even though the abuse was reported to LDS Church authorities, Sterling was not excommunicated, but went on to work as a professor at Brigham Young University and produce many LDS Church films.
Since the release of the audio recording by TTF, Sterling has since pled guilty to separate charges of child sex abuse in Utahand is currently awaiting sentencing.
In this interview, we share the complete audio recording of Sean's confrontation with Sterling, and then we process how the abuse affected Sean's life, including the fallout related to sharing the audio recording with The Truth and Transparency Foundation including the discovery of more victims.