Sexual Misconduct with Congregants or Parishioners: Crafting a Model Statute

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Article discussing sexual misconduct with congregants or parishioners and crafting a model statute.

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28 p.

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Toben, Bradley J. B. & Helge, Kris April 12, 2012.

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Article discussing sexual misconduct with congregants or parishioners and crafting a model statute.

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28 p.

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Abstract: Contemporary studies and the media focus on children as the victims of the sexual misconduct by clergy from various religions but such misconduct can be directed towards adult congregants or parishioners and frequently occurs when the relationship is one where consent might not easily be refused. Several state legislatures have attempted to craft statutes that provide civil remuneration for the victims or criminal punishments for the assailing clergy. However, the majority of these statutes have been deemed unconstitutional because they, in effect, require a court to interpret and redirect church policy. This article proposes a model statute that focuses upon the position and authority of the clergyperson and the consequent vulnerability and susceptibility of the alleged victim as the predicates for the sexual misconduct, and not on the fact that the actor is a member of the clergy, performing his or her clerical duties, or in any other manner forcing a court to interpret church policy or doctrine.

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  • British Journal of American Legal Studies, 2012, Birmingham: Birmingham University

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Publication Information

  • Publication Title: British Journal of American Legal Studies
  • Volume: 1
  • Issue: 189
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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UNT Scholarly Works

Materials from the UNT community's research, creative, and scholarly activities and UNT's Open Access Repository. Access to some items in this collection may be restricted.

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  • April 12, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 21, 2012, 2:22 p.m.

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  • May 23, 2014, 3:22 p.m.

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Toben, Bradley J. B. & Helge, Kris. Sexual Misconduct with Congregants or Parishioners: Crafting a Model Statute, article, April 12, 2012; [Birmingham, United Kingdom]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc130203/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .