A woman who claims in a lawsuit that her father sexually abused her as a child said Thursday that Mormon church leaders allowed the sexual assault to continue by failing to report it to police.

Kristy Johnson said at a news conference that her now-deceased mother told local church leaders in Utah and California about the abuse multiple times during the 1960s and 1970s. Her father, Melvin Kay Johnson, a church employee who worked for the religious education arm of the faith, was relocated to different cities by the church after each report, but police were not contacted, she alleges in a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Utah.

Johnson, now 55 and living in La Habra, California, said she finally reported the abuse to police in California in 1986 when she returned from a Mormon mission. Her father was never arrested, but the church kicked him out. He was allowed back one year later after he went before a church court and persuaded them he had repented, the woman said.

Melvin Kay Johnson, who now lives in Lehi, Utah, did not respond to a voicemail left at a listed phone number.

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