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Sexual Misconduct by Clergy and Church Workers - Part 3

A California court ruled that a pastor and his employing church could be liable on the basis of his sexual seduction of a female member of his congregation.

Key point 4-05. Most courts have rejected clergy malpractice as a basis for liability in all cases. A few courts have found clergy guilty of malpractice for engaging in sexual misconduct with an adult or minor, or if they engage in "non-religious" counseling.
Key point 4-11.1. Clergy who engage in sexual contact with an adult or minor are subject to civil liability on the basis of several legal theories. They also are subject to criminal liability.
Key point 10-13.1. A few courts have found churches and denominational agencies liable on the basis of a breach of a fiduciary duty for the sexual misconduct of a minister. In some cases, the church or agency is found to be vicariously liable for the minister's breach of a fiduciary duty, but in others the church or agency is found to have breached a fiduciary duty that it had with the victim.

* A California court ruled that ...

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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