They were in the Bible study room when Deryk Terril, a shy 11-year-old with shaggy hair in 1976, found the courage to finally say something: An elder at a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Spokane had been molesting him for years, Terril, now 57, recounts in a lawsuit filed in August.

Jehovah's Witness church covered up child sex abuse, survivors say

Washington's mandatory-reporter law, which has exempted clergy members since 1975, enabled the crimes for decades.