Jump directly to the content

Church Is Liable for Molestation of Minor

Despite no prior incidents of misconduct, duty of care should have been enforced

Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers

Key point 10-09.1. Some courts have found churches liable on the basis of negligent supervision for a worker's acts of child molestation on the ground that the church failed to exercise reasonable care in the supervision of the victim or of its own programs and activities.

A Washington court ruled that a church could be liable for the molestation of a minor by a volunteer in the church's scouting program, even without knowledge of prior incidents of misconduct by the volunteer. In the early spring of 1977, a stranger (the "defendant") began attending a church. He was personable, but gave only a vague explanation of "what he did and who he was and where he came from." The defendant offered to volunteer with the church's Boy Scout troop, and the church leadership decided to accept him as a volunteer. The defendant quickly assumed substantial ...

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • June 26, 2014

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.