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Priest Sued for Failure to Report Child Abuse

Court rules that man is not legally responsible for damages.

Key point. Persons who are mandatory reporters of child abuse under state law may be civilly liable for an abused child's injuries if they fail to report known or reasonably suspected abuse.

A New York court ruled that a teacher could be sued by a child who was molested by an uncle because she failed to report the abuse to civil authorities. An 8—year—old girl lived with her parents in New York. She began spending portions of her summer vacation at the home of her aunt and uncle in New Jersey. When the girl was 12 years old, she told two of her girlfriends that she had been sexually abused by her uncle when staying at his home during two previous summers. Encouraged by her girlfriends to tell an adult about the abuse, the victim decided to tell her sixth grade teacher because she felt she could trust her. The girlfriends interrupted the teacher's class and asked the teacher ...

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  • March 3, 1997

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