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Defendant's Meeting with Pastor Was Not for Spiritual Advice

Man accused of sexual abuse of stepdaughter not protected by clergy-penitent privilege.

Key point 3-07.4. In order for the clergy-penitent privilege to apply, there must be a communication that is made to a minister acting in a professional capacity as a spiritual adviser.

A Louisiana court ruled that the clergy-penitent privilege did not apply to statements made by a criminal defendant to a pastor. The court based its ruling on the fact that the defendant had met with the pastor to refute criminal charges made against him rather than to seek spiritual counsel required for the privilege to apply.

The defendant is given a 15-year sentence by a trial court

During a three-day trial, a jury heard the victim testify that her stepfather (the “defendant”) began a sexual relationship with her when she was 14 years old that lasted for more than three years.

An associate pastor testified that in April 2017 the victim told him the defendant had been having sex with her since she ...

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