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Evaluating Allegations of Child Abuse

A recent case will be of use to churches.

Key point. In evaluating whether an allegation of child abuse is legitimate, church leaders can benefit from the approach taken by the civil courts in criminal cases.

A Georgia court upheld the conviction of a man for child abuse, and its decision will be useful to church leaders in evaluating allegations of child abuse. Church leaders occasionally are confronted with an allegation of child abuse. For example, a parent claims that a youth worker molested her minor child. The alleged offender often denies any wrongdoing, and this places church leaders in a difficult position of having to determine the truthfulness of the accusation. The civil courts wrestle with the same issue in criminal cases involving the guilt or innocence of persons accused of child abuse. A recent case provides some helpful guidance. A 7—year—old girl alleged that a man molested her. The man was prosecuted ...

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  • September 1, 1997

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