Key point 4-11.02. Clergy who are sued for sexual misconduct may be able to assert one or more defenses.
The courts have reached different conclusions regarding the legal effect of a person's "consent" to a sexual relationship with a minister. Some courts have concluded that sexual relations between two consenting adults cannot be the basis for liability. Other courts have reached the opposite conclusion, usually on the ground that the pastor's unique authority and status precludes voluntary consent.