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Church Sued for Minor's Acts of Molestation

The minor had been molested by a church employee.

Louisiana
State:
Key point. Churches are not necessarily responsible for acts of child molestation committed by minors who themselves were molested by a church worker.

A Louisiana court ruled that a church was not legally responsible for a minor's acts of child molestation. A minor molested two young children. The molestation did not occur at a church and had no connection with a church. However, the victims' parents sued a church claiming that it was responsible for their children's injuries because the molester had himself been molested by an employee of the church several years before. A state appeals court dismissed the lawsuit. It observed that "it is well-recognized that an actor has no duty to control the conduct of a third person so as to prevent him from causing physical harm to another unless a special relationship exists between the actor and the other so as to afford the other a right to ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • May 1, 1997

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