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Church Liability for the Sexual Molestation of Minors

A recent case provides helpful guidance.

A recent case provides helpful guidance; Doe v. Liberatore, 478 F.Supp.2d 742 (M.D. Pa. 2007)

Article summary. In 1986 Congress enacted the Child Abuse Victims' Rights Act in order to allow victims of various sexual offenses, including child molestation and exploitation, to sue for money damages in federal court. Does the Act permit minors who are sexually molested by a church employee or volunteer to sue their church? Or, are victims only authorized to sue the person who committed the offense? These are important questions that were addressed for the first time by a federal court in Pennsylvania. The court also addressed a number of other theories of church liability, including the relevance of sexual orientation in selecting a church worker, and its conclusions will be of relevance to every church leader. This article will review the facts of this significant case, summarize the court's ...

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