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Sunday School Teacher Accused Of Sexual Abuse


sjdawg

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It's sad that it happened, but just as well that it's being dealt with.

What I find interesting is the witch-hunt mentality of the commenters.

Regards,

Pahoran

People are not very logical when they feel strongly about something. It's why true democracies are so frightening.

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Every story like this is incredibly sad. My brother was accused of such in a high school situation. The girl's accusations were proved to be completely false and motivated out of spite. Take a 20 year career in school administration and flushed it down the toilet with no consequences for the girl. The only solution that I see is that these types of stories should have a complete media black out until after a conviction is known. That way the accused has a higher probability of not having their life ruined by spurious charges.

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If this is true it is indeed sad. The report at the link above is very brief and sketchy. What is troubling to me is this: "The alleged abuse happened at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints located on Northeast 50th Avenue" and this "In a probable cause affidavit, a deputy said the abuse happened between February and September of this year". The church is awfully public and during meetings there are always a lot of people around. For this to go on over a period of months in a crowded building just seems implausible. In addition male teachers are to be team teachers (2 in the classroom). Most chapels are multi-ward buildings, which increases the number of people on hand. Something just doesn't add up.

I certainly hope this man did not do that.

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The problem with penalizing accusers if they can't prove their case or even if it's only proved it's malicious is that this becomes another threat to keep the victim silent in real cases...as in "no one will believe you and you'll go to jail for lying or your family will lose their house" etc.

The problem with a blackout is that it may prevent other victims from having the chance to come forward in real cases even though it might prevent copy cats. I don't see rumors being prevented and those have the same, if not worse, effect since the accused has no chance to defend himself publicly.

It's a no win situation. It is important to make it as safe and as friendly as possible to encourage real victims to report while it is also important to protect the innocent from false accusations. There should be some legal protection, but don't know what would actually work.

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calmoriah:

I was what is known as a mandated reporter, and my wife still is. I have always encouraged the victims of abuse to speak up, and have encouraged the prosecution of the perps. But we are faced with a terrible dilema. In this country we have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. To hold the victim of a false claim is worse than letting the guilty go. If I knowingly made a false claim of a illegal act. I could have been charged with a crime myself. I expect no less from others.

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calmoriah:

I was what is known as a mandated reporter, and my wife still is. I have always encouraged the victims of abuse to speak up, and have encouraged the prosecution of the perps. But we are faced with a terrible dilema. In this country we have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. To hold the victim of a false claim is worse than letting the guilty go. If I knowingly made a false claim of a illegal act. I could have been charged with a crime myself. I expect no less from others.

The problem with sexual abuse is that so often it is very difficult to prove. It may well happen but there just isnt enough evidence to convince others. In that case both people can be the victim. If it is unproven people are going to think the victim just lied and the defendant is an assaulter, depending on the observers opinion. Neither will ever be proved innocent. There really isnt an answer to the problem since mind reading doesnt work that well.

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Calmoriah:

Children lie. Adults lie. I can't mind read, and the only person that can is God, and no one here is him. As a society the only safeguard we have is the ability to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Of course children are to be held to a different standard. We're not going to put a four year old in jail. However we shouldn't condon lying, and after a certain age(around the age of 14) need to be held accountable to the law for their lies.

When my kids were growing up I always told them to tell me the truth. No matter how horrible it is. I can't remove all the consequences of the act, but I can figure out a way to help mitigate the damage done by it. What I can't deal with is the lie. There is nothing to work off of.

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He could sue for defamation, but it is likely that she had little to no real resources to take. I'd like to see the laws changed to "Looser Pays" with serious jail time for malicious prosecution.

She had nothing to her name; I still thought it would have been useful for no other reason as to emphsize his innocence. When the accusation is false; how does one punish a minor? It is very difficult to see a clear path to serves justice.

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So do you suggest we go to a SOP of assuming the children who make such accusations are lying until proven otherwise? If not, what is your solution?

No do not go that way. We must take seriously any accusation but we must look at them with critical eyes. As I stated in post #7, as reported there are things, in this case, that do not add up in my mind.

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Storm Rider:

There are severe penalties to adults who deliberately make false claims to police. As I said before we're not going to put a four year old in jail. However some intensive formal counseling would be most appropriate. At about the age of 16 however legal sanctions should start to come in.

I agree, but they do not appear to function if they exist and if they do not exist, I would not know how to begin structuring it so that it does not stifle a abused from coming forward. I still think all of these types of allegations should remained out of the press until after a determination of innocence or guilt has been made. Doing so protects the innocent, to a degree, from having their lives destroyed. To me, that is of more value than immediately finding others they were abused by the same individual. This is a very, very sticky wicket.

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Strom Rider:

There is always a bit of dynamic tension between the needs of an open society to protect itself from the dangerous individual and the co-equal need to protect the indiviual from false charges. Add in that secret charges, and secret trials are specifically banned by the US constitution. I see no easy solution. But if governance was easy we'd have figured it out millenia ago. :)

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In our ward, male Sunday school teachers must teach with the door open if they don't have a companion teacher. They are right now redoing our building and all doors will have windows in them. Yeah!

In our ward we have windows in the door and male teachers who teach children do so as a team. There are two teachers ususally husband and wife.

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We got the windows as part of our expansion. It is especially nice for parents of nursery aged kids who want to check in without causing a disturbance.

I hope the Saints learn that the "two deep leadership" adopted from the Boy Scouts is as much a protection for the adults as is it the youth. Untrue accusations can be horribly damaging. I have a good friend who lost their public school teaching job and a lot of funds defending himself from two girls who accused him of abuse in order to get revenge for a detention received due to misbehavior in class.

By the time he was done and the girls admitted in court they were lying, he lost his job, his house and any savings he had. He died of mysterious causes within a few years. I suspect it may have been suicide.

On the other hand real abuse exists. I am personally aquainted with some serious cases. It robs the victim of their spirit and sense of security.

The bottom line is stay above reproach as a leader/teacher and teach your kids to defend themselves from abusers.

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No do not go that way. We must take seriously any accusation but we must look at them with critical eyes. As I stated in post #7, as reported there are things, in this case, that do not add up in my mind.

All this has happened before all this is likely to happen again... Read up on the case of Ralph Neeley from Texas the criminal acts happened during Church services also resulted in a 750 million settlement.claydugas dot com/CM/VerdictsSettlements / Molester-receives-life-imprisonment.asp

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