Jump directly to the content

Child Abuse - Part 1

A California court ruled that a 6-year-old child could not be sued by an adult male against whom she made false accusations of child abuse.

Key point 4-02.03. A number of defenses are available to one accused of defamation. These include truth, statements made in the course of judicial proceedings, consent, and self-defense. In addition, statements made to church members about a matter of common interest to members are protected by a "qualified privilege," meaning that they cannot be defamatory unless they are made with malice. In this context, malice means that the person making the statements knew that they were false or made them with a reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity. This privilege will not apply if the statements are made to nonmembers.

* A California court ruled that a 6-year-old child could not be sued by an adult male against whom she made false accusations of child abuse. It is every youth worker's worst fear—being falsely accused of molesting a child. What recourse does ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

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

Related ResourcesView All

Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws
Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Laws
State by state laws to report child abuse.
Sex Offenders in the Church
Sex Offenders in the Church
Legal and safety concerns to address when dealing with a sex offender.
Reducing the Risk
Reducing the Risk
Keep your church safe from child sexual abuse.
Child Sexual Abuse Response Plan
Child Sexual Abuse Response Plan
Put a plan into action to prevent child sexual abuse from happening in your church.