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Friday, November 20, 2015

Exemptions for child abuse reporting weighed

Jessica Masulli Reyes
The (Wilmington, Del.) New Journal
Originally published November 9, 2015

A Delaware judge is considering the constitutionality of a state law that exempts priests from being required to report suspected child abuse disclosed during confessions — and, if the law is constitutional, whether it should protect elders in a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation.

The Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit against the Laurel Delaware Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses last year alleging two elders failed to report to state authorities a sexual relationship between a woman and a 14-year-old boy, both of whom were members of the congregation.

State law says individuals and organizations must report suspected child abuse and neglect immediately via a 24-hour state hotline, unless they learn of the abuse in an attorney-client setting or "that between priest and penitent in a sacramental confession."

The entire article is here.
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