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Recent Developments in Tennessee Regarding Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers

A Tennessee court ruled that a church-operated preschool was not legally responsible for a sexual assault committed by a 4-year-old boy on another 4-year-old boy, since the assault was not foreseeable.

Tennessee
State:
Key point. Churches are not necessarily responsible for unforeseeable sexual assaults committed by minors on other minors on church premises.

A Tennessee court ruled that a church—operated preschool was not legally responsible for a sexual assault committed by a 4—year—old boy on another 4—year—old boy, since the assault was not foreseeable. A 4—year—old boy (the "victim") who was enrolled in a church—operated preschool program asked for permission to use the restroom which was located 40 feet down the hall. The teacher informed the victim that he would have to wait until another 4—year—old boy returned from the restroom. When the other boy returned to the classroom the teacher gave the victim permission to go to the restroom. While the victim was in the restroom, the boy who had just returned asked for permission to "get ...

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Posted:
  • May 1, 1998

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