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Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers - Part 2

A California court ruled that a pastor and church could not be liable for injuries allegedly suffered by a woman as a result of a consensual sexual relationship she had with the pastor.

Key point 4-11.02. Clergy who are sued for sexual misconduct may be able to assert one or more defenses.

* A California court ruled that a pastor and church could not be liable for injuries allegedly suffered by a woman as a result of a consensual sexual relationship she had with the pastor. The relationship between the parties began when the pastor was counseling the woman (Jackie). After the relationship ended, Jackie sued the pastor and her church. A trial court dismissed Jackie's lawsuit, noting that her case was "essentially a complaint alleging liability where two consenting adults freely and mutually consent to some sexual foreplay and various discussions of sexual activity, notwithstanding they are both married to other persons. Morally reprehensible as the pastor's advances were under the subterfuge of marital counseling (if, indeed, they occurred), his status as a pastor/counselor ...

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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, 2003

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