Best of AP — Honorable Mention


Former Mormon bishop highlighted in AP investigation arrested on felony child sex abuse charges

Chelsea Goodrich poses for a portrait at a friend's house in Ketchum, Idaho, Sept. 19, 2023. Goodrich's father, a popular Idaho dentist and former bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church, was excommunicated after sharing details about his relationship with her when she was a child during a religious confession. Recordings obtained by The Associated Press show that instead of helping prosecutors, the church used a legal playbook that has helped protect itself from sex abuse claims. AP PHOTO / JASON DEAREN

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In December, investigative reporters Jason Dearen and Mike Rezendes used audio recordings, legal documents, email exchanges and interviews to reveal how a senior official in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped keep quiet the case of a former bishop in the church who was accused of sexually abusing his daughter. At the time the AP story was published, John Goodrich, the former bishop, was a free man.

Last week, however, John Goodrich was arrested on charges he sexually abused his daughter while accompanying her on a school trip to Washington, D.C. and colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, when she was a child,­ charges that may never have been filed if not for the AP’s investigation.

Dearen and Rezendes were alone with the development. The story got wide usage on customers’ websites and television news broadcasts.

“I hope this case will finally bring justice for my childhood sexual abuse,” Chelsea Goodrich said in a statement to the AP.

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