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Minister's Liability for Youth Director's Sexual Misconduct

Who is liable for a church worker's misconduct?

• A Louisiana state appeals court ruled that a minister was not legally responsible for the sexual molestation of 4 children by a church youth director. The parents of the 4 children alleged that the pastor had counseled privately with the youth director, and had learned of previous incidents of child molestation. The parents asserted that the pastor had breached his "counselor's duty" to warn them of "potential future criminal activity" by his counselee. They also asserted that the pastor had been aware of the youth director's molestation of their children for more than a year without disclosing the fact to anyone. A trial court dismissed the lawsuit, and the parents appealed. A state appeals court upheld the trial court's dismissal of the lawsuit. The court began its opinion by observing: "We further recognize the legal principle that [a person] has no duty to control the conduct ...

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Posted:
  • May 1, 1992

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