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Wrestling' Argument Not Enough to Clear Molestation Charges

What church leaders should know about recent case.

Key point. A defendant can be convicted of child molestation despite his claim that he was merely engaged in innocent "wrestling" with minors.

A Georgia court upheld the criminal conviction of a man for molesting children despite his claim that he was only engaging in innocent wrestling. Many church leaders have been confronted with allegations of inappropriate contact by congregational members with minors during church activities or programs. Sometimes, when the alleged offender is confronted, he will deny any wrongdoing and insist that he was merely engaged in innocent horseplay or wrestling. The Georgia case illustrates that such "defenses" should not always be believed. The defendant was charged with touching the breasts and genital areas of several children through their clothing. He was convicted of two counts of aggravated child molestation, and seven counts of child molestation. ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1996

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