A judge in Arizona has dismissed a lawsuit against the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, saying that the church had no duty to report to police a church member who was sexually abusing his daughter since the secret was revealed during a church confession, Fox 13 reported.
From Fox 13:
In a ruling on Friday, Cochise County Superior Court Judge Timothy Dickerson said the state’s clergy-penitent privilege excused two bishops and several other officials with the church, widely known as the Mormon church, from the state’s child sex abuse mandatory reporting law because Paul Adams initially disclosed during a confession that he was sexually abusing his daughter.
“Church defendants were not required under the Mandatory Reporting Statute to report the abuse of Jane Doe 1 by her father because their knowledge of the abuse came from confidential communications which fall within the clergy-penitent exception,” Dickerson wrote in his decision.
Although the church excommunicated Adams, its decision to withhold his abusive behavior from civil authorities allowed him to continue abusing his daughter for seven years, during which he began abusing a second daughter, starting when she was just 6 weeks old.
Read the full report over at Fox 13.
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