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LDS Missionary arrested

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1 hour ago, JohnsonJones said:

If the confession happened in California, I think they could try him for failure to report.  I think they may even be able to convict.  The problem is if they really want to open that can of worms.  If they decided to prosecute it is very likely that there would be a series of appeals over the years.  It would eventually get to the Supreme Court and the question of Church and State would occur.  The big question is looking down the road what a Supreme Court may decide.  It may be a decision California would not want to hear.

The church currently has some deep pockets.  It would be a drawn out fight.  I can see it going ALL the way up to the Supreme Court with the issue at stake being the Religious Freedom and the Bill of Rights.

That's a can of worm I'm not sure anyone really wants to open.

We'll see what happens though.

I sniffed a little more.  Sounds like CA does require the reporting of out-of-state child abuse (analysis); however, like Utah, penitential confessions to clergymen are exempt from the reporting requirement.  (California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act 11166(d)).

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4 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I sniffed a little more.  Sounds like CA does require the reporting of out-of-state child abuse (analysis); however, like Utah, penitential confessions to clergymen are exempt from the reporting requirement.  (California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act 11166(d)).

Which basically means... That California needs to change its laws if they want to be able to act in cases like this.  And if they come after the church in defiance of their own laws the Church lawyers should be able to win handily

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2 hours ago, estradling75 said:

Which basically means... That California needs to change its laws if they want to be able to act in cases like this.  And if they come after the church in defiance of their own laws the Church lawyers should be able to win handily

It's a little more complicated than that, but in short....yes.

Ultimately it's up to those in California handling it.

I think they could prosecute, especially if it was on a Mission President rather than a Bishop, but it could get complicated. They might even get a conviction...at first. In all chances it would be appealed successfully due to the laws and how they are written.  With the Laws as they are the eventual outcome is more likely known (barring any extremely unusual things occurring).  It would even be an open and shut case I think.  California could not win this one in the long run.

Even if the laws were changed, it would be overturned most likely.  This is why the laws are written in such a way (as @Just_A_Guy a guy pointed out above), because in such instances, with the US Bill of Rights, without some extreme incident the Higher Courts will normally rule in favor of the Church in such things as this.  There are ways that they are written to get around such things, but ultimately, the Bill of Rights still exists and the Constitution is still the Supreme Law of the Land.

If the Church didn't have as deep of pockets to fight a legal battle the outcome may be a little different, but with an entity that has as deep pockets as the church and the likelihood to fight it to the end...probably not the best choice.  I agree, California probably would lose this one in the long run (or short, depending on how the lower courts ruled).

It could still have people beyond that one individual prosecuted though...that will be up to those handling these matters.

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1 hour ago, JohnsonJones said:

I think they could prosecute, especially if it was on a Mission President rather than a Bishop, but it could get complicated. They might even get a conviction...at first. 

The mission president is, ecclesiastically, in kind of a funky role; and it could be an open question as to how outsiders (especially judges) would view it.  The thing that influences my thinking most, is that the mission president does sign the missionary’s temple recommend.  (Or did, when I was serving, back when @MormonGator was still in diapers.)

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I can understand where @mrmarket is coming from. While the church leaders are on pretty solid ground in this case (because of clergy-penitent privilege), there's a larger question about whether legal is strictly equivalent to ethical

Unfortunately, in this case, the ethics are murky.  There's a strong ethical case to be made for protecting victims and making the report.  There's also a strong ethical case in the religious community (not just in LDS, and not even just in Christianity) for not breaching the clergy-penitent privilege. I suspect even ethicists in the religious community would be divided on this one.

I can't say one way or another whether this decision not to report was The Right Decision (TM) or not.  And I could make arguments either way. I'll just have to trust the guys in the room.

These are agonizing decisions for church leaders. Those who claim these decisions are simple and clean cut do not have a full appreciation for the complexity of being responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of a ward.

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1 minute ago, MarginOfError said:

These are agonizing decisions for church leaders. Those who claim these decisions are simple and clean cut do not have a full appreciation for the complexity of being responsible for the spiritual and temporal welfare of a ward.

I am not one to said that the leaders do not have a hard choice in these cases.

I am saying for everyone attempting to arm chair quarterback the calls the leader's make (like the news article and posters in this thread)...  that it is a easy one... get some facts before going off on who should have done what.

If you do not like that clergymen are exempt and you want to use this as an example.. well that is fair.  But then make that case, don't try to turn it into some kind of scandal like the church is trying to cover it up or something

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I'll not also that there's a damned if you do, damned if you don't element to this. 

Consider another case where a man confessed to his bishop that he'd had sexual contact with a minor, and the bishop reported this to authorities. The man's wife is now suing the bishop for violating clergy-penitent privilege. I don't think the suit will be successful, but it illustrates the high stakes of making these decisions. 

 

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40 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

I'll not also that there's a damned if you do, damned if you don't element to this. 

Consider another case where a man confessed to his bishop that he'd had sexual contact with a minor, and the bishop reported this to authorities. The man's wife is now suing the bishop for violating clergy-penitent privilege. I don't think the suit will be successful, but it illustrates the high stakes of making these decisions. 

 

I saw that a few weeks ago. She def wont win that one. 

I don't see any way possible to incur civil liability for reporting a crime unless you completely made it up and it has been proven you did. That said, a lawyer can play games with laws and destroy a person.

Edited by mrmarket

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On 3/30/2020 at 7:06 PM, Vort said:

mrmarket has made his intentions unmistakably clear.

Mormon 4:5

Quote

...for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men...

17 minutes ago, mrmarket said:

Here is a recent case in AZ, but it is child molest. Failure to report. it looks as if LE is pursuing charges aganst at least one if not two Bishops.
https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2019/12/11/mormon-officials-in-bisbee-being-investigated-for-not-reporting-child-sex-abuse/

 

 

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33 minutes ago, mrmarket said:

Here is a recent case in AZ, but it is child molest. Failure to report. it looks as if LE is pursuing charges aganst at least one if not two Bishops.
https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2019/12/11/mormon-officials-in-bisbee-being-investigated-for-not-reporting-child-sex-abuse/

 

Well, no; they were “investigating” unspecified congregational members as of December, knowing full well that:

Under state law, clergy members need not report suspected child abuse if they obtain the information by way of “a confidential communication or a confession” and if the clergy determines maintaining that confidentiality is “reasonable and necessary within the concepts of the religion.

Sometimes county attorneys just like to get their names in the papers.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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It looks like Needleina's  intentions are abundantly clear.

Needleina feels it neccessary to follow me around on this forum and nitpick, judge and all but call me an anti Mormon.

Since you (Needleina) have become the self- appointed content police of this forum I have to tell you this should probably be made formal by appealing to whoever runs this place to make you a moderator or whatever it is you are trying to be. In the meantime you are likely running afoul of the rules by harassing me with posts which are not really a reponse to content,  but more of a personal attack. Go report me to a mod if your goal is ultimately to get me thrown off the forum and allow them to make a decision. If that isnt your goal either discuss with me or knock it off. 

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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Well, no; they were “investigating” unspecified congregational members as of December, knowing full well that:

Under state law, clergy members need not report suspected child abuse if they obtain the information by way of “a confidential communication or a confession” and if the clergy determines maintaining that confidentiality is “reasonable and necessary within the concepts of the religion.

Sometimes county attorneys just like to get their names in the papers.

They are investigating the bishop who also happens to be the family doctor. Apparently he was replaced by another Bishop who was not the DR. He reported it to the church but was advised not to contact LE. Seems as if possibly not required to contact LE even if it is an ongoing abuse situation. If so, that law needs to change. Imagine having a ward member confess to you he is molesting his kids and then send him home that night knowing they will be re-victimized. But...since it is the church policy and it is the law apparently it absolutely is the right thing to do. I'm sure you will agree,

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