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Church Not Liable in Suit for Failing to Inform Parents of Child Pornography on Pastor’s Laptop

Key point 10-04. Churches can reduce the risk of liability based on negligent selection for the sexual molestation of minors by adopting risk management policies and procedures.

A Missouri court ruled that a church was not liable for failing to inform parents that large amounts of child pornography was found on the pastor's laptop computer. A minor female (the "victim") was born in 2001. She and her parents (the "Doe Family") joined a Catholic church in the summer of 2009. A priest (the "defendant") became the pastor of the church at about the same time. In December 2010, a computer technician who worked for the church was asked to look at the priest's laptop because it was running slow. The technician determined that the hard drive was full, and in the process of deleting files, saw pictures of young girls stored on the hard drive with numbers assigned, indicating the pictures had been taken ...

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  • December 27, 2016

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