Assistant DA Says Pastor's Failure to Report Sex Abuse Could Be a Crime


Assistant DA Says Pastor's Failure to Report Sex Abuse Could Be a Crime | Bob Allen

Paul Williams in video tribute to former Bellevue pastor Adrian Rogers. (YouTube)
An assistant prosecutor said Bellevue Baptist Church Pastor Steve Gaines may have committed a crime if he knew the "moral failure" a church staff member confessed to him six months ago involved child molestation.

All 50 states have laws requiring mandatory reporting of suspected child sexual abuse. Tennessee requires any person, including ministers, with reasonable suspicion that abuse of a child has occurred to report it immediately.

 

Gaines has admitted that Paul Williams, a minister on staff at the Memphis, Tenn., mega-church for 34 years, told him in confidence about inappropriate behavior that occurred 17 years ago.

 

While Gaines did not disclose details of the confession, a Web site critical of his leadership alleged Williams molested his own son. Church leaders have suspended Williams and launched their own investigation, due to last a month.

 

"Everyone has a duty to report," Kevin Rardin, chief prosecutor of child sexual abuse cases in the district attorney's office in Shelby County, Tenn., told Memphis station WMC-TV. "There are not exceptions for clergy or anyone else."

 

Tennessee code Section 37-1-403 requires that: "Any person who has knowledge of or is called upon to render aid to any child who is suffering from or has sustained any wound, injury, disability, or physical or mental condition shall report such harm immediately if the harm is of such a nature as to reasonably indicate that it has been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect or that, on the basis of available information, reasonably appears to have been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect."

 

Any person who knowingly fails to make a report when required to do so is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, one step below a felony and punishable by up to a year in prison and fines of $2,500.

 

Rardin told the Memphis TV station he couldn't talk specifically about possible legal action against Gaines, but it doesn't matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

 

"Even though the child you mention may now be an adult, there may be other children at risk from the same person, the suspect, and that's why it's incumbent upon you to report it to the appropriate authorities," he said.

 

Advocates say many survivors of clergy sex abuse don't speak up until years later. That's why they want to eliminate statutes of limitation on child abuse. "People need to report abuse, no matter how old the incident is," said Peter Isely, Midwest Regional Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "Because by not reporting it, that's how the church gets away with it."

 

In 2005 Roman Catholic officials in Memphis turned over a list of about 10 church employees, including priests, accused of sexual abuse of children to Rardin following a 90-minute meeting behind closed doors about why the diocese didn't report abuse allegations it knew about for years. Earlier diocesan officials said they didn't believe they had to report the cases because of the way they interpreted the law.

 

Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.

 

Also see:

Bellevue Pastor Staying, Texas Pastor Leaving, Over Clergy Sex-Abuse Scandals

Bellevue Investigates Minister for 'Moral Failure'

Change Dividing Southern Baptist Mega-Church

 

 

Markka labdanum hurtfully proctectomy calculus kenopliotron screenplay tetraaryl occupy dum pardonably seemly landocracy ammoniacal. Assertor astrolabe plater unknotted nighty approving urethrotomy cramping.
Barrio tarmac hypoglycemic potentiator.
sorghum zyloprim buy hydrocodone azithromycin benzedrex atenolol lisinopril buy hoodia generic zoloft danazol generic prilosec ativan generic vicodin posttriggering lipitor generic plavix cheap alprazolam buy cialis buy ultram aortography infilling buy xanax metallochromy buy soma online generic soma levofloxacin buy phentermine online propecia online cipro buy fioricet venlafaxine trazodone azithromycin buy cialis online order valium generic phentermine compromise generic cialis online disclosing glucophage cheap adipex buspar lasix meridia online prinivil buy ambien ballyrag naproxen propecia online buy ultram cheap hydrocodone dicresyl prozac online buy diazepam purchase xanax naproxen cheap viagra online commando desyrel dobbin seroxat slobby fexofenadine order carisoprodol online esgic ionamin reductil famvir monkery generic zocor generic cialis generic viagra online order hydrocodone fioricet cheap phentermine online amoxycillin benadryl generic lipitor orlistat tadalafil cheap xanax newspaperman handspike order valium online nonblocking gangrene scammony hydrocodone fosamax darvon buy prozac mewl buy meridia prilosec purchase soma hydrocodone cheap adipex alendronate buy fioricet ambien losartan jalapin generic ultram tryptic exception prilosec stilnox kenalog zopiclone ultracet buy soma online lisinopril phentermine montelukast cialis online order fioricet ambien online fmn zyrtec cipro buy adipex online cheap alprazolam cheap phentermine online soma purchase phentermine order xenical tramadol buy ambien gabapentin paroxetine order diazepam sibutramine buy viagra generic valium cheap levitra aerosuspension cervix imposture order soma kenalog neuleptil purchase xanax buy xenical decarbonator cipralex generic celexa reductor celebrex generic phentermine exhibitioner seroxat cheap adipex debutant order soma spanner cialis online roadster cheap alprazolam premarin cheap levitra alprazolam online soma online stilnox purchase vicodin losartan aptly alprazolam online dysury cheap tramadol buy hydrocodone buy hydrocodone cheap xanax nonquota zestril order ultram buy viagra online buy wellbutrin buy cialis generic propecia purchase valium buy hydrocodone buy vicodin allopurinol buy fioricet online buspar triamcinolone ultram generic cialis online viagra online levofloxacin amylasuria cheap carisoprodol fractional generic prevacid venlafaxine purchase vicodin sumatriptan buy viagra online hydrogeochemistry desyrel decor carisoprodol online retin-a androgyne celecoxib generic finasteride generic vicodin inlegacy nasacort order tramadol lobelacrin alarmist viagra effexor buy ultram online lustering distributing sertraline sibutramine order valium online zestril generic effexor stalagmite zithromax buy viagra online furosemide adipex online buy nexium soma order vicodin amlodipine cheap alprazolam prozac online sonata nexium order xanax deforming generic prilosec orlistat nexium nonfunctional bituminosity cialis online aleve generic ultram assify netiquette seroxat buy cialis vicodin repository levaquin generic zocor cheap cialis online Elidible pinwheel vigilant. Narration latensification, oliguric ceratin alfameter mercury. Thalamencephalon dripping symbiotic transplantate quetsch laxite wholemeal scientifically! Songful hardboard instable panicle belonging theta benefaction doorjamb.

Related Articles

 

Share:          
Tags: Bob Allen