Announcement: Another favorable court ruling regarding Napa County lawsuit

by AndersonsInfo 114 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis
    Nope, never heard of it. ick. Still, I thought even if there was some kind of claim to consent, aren't sexual relations with a minor still considered 'statuatory rape'?

    Most jurisdictions are not interested in having to arrest and process through the judicial system "kids having sex." Therefore, most have exceptions for consent as long as there is not too much of a age difference between the parties.

  • sammielee24
    the Judicial Committee was required to communicate information it obtained regarding potential cases of child molestation to the Watchtower Society Headquarters." This is the most damaging statement found in this motion. This alone shows that the WTS sat on this information rather than handing it to the proper authorities.

    My feeling and my point exactly jourles....that one piece of information in a written directive from headquarters has sealed their fate and as their own lawyers stated, by allowing this suit to continue it changes the outcome for hundreds if not thousands of other suits in the works. Some may even be re-opened and this could bankrupt the society or force it to change a lot of things - including the way it does business. swife.

  • Quandary


  • Bryan
  • z



  • ThomasCovenant

    Hello all Please forgive my ignorance in these matters. Could somebody (if they haven't already done so) put this into very thick laymans terms as to what is the significance and possible or likely consequences of this ruling. I for one would like to see the WTS collapse. Is this ruling going to have any impact? If so, what. Apologies to those who can see clearer than myself. Thanks Thomas Covenant

  • truth.ceeker

    This really is big news and needs to be communicated to as many people as it can be at this time. It is sad that the Elders may end up being the scape goats but it will change, somewhat, how the wtbts handles these matters. I believe that the real victims are the innocent children and we should try to remember them during this.


  • La Capra
    La Capra


    Among other things, the WBTS would like to hide between the confidentiality that is recognized between clergy and penitents.

    The rationale behind this confidentiality is so as not to discourage an individual from being able to "come clean to God" about sin.

    However, California Evidence Code (which governs what may be introduced to the jury at trial) says that in this situation (when an individual has confessed to a priest), in order for the priest to claim the privilege of confidentiality, certain guidlelines to the confession must be met.

    WBTS claims they met the guidelines with the JC. Plaintiffs say no way. WBTS says that their judicial committee is the same as once clergy person because all the elders on a JC are "clergy." (I think this is a strong argument, by the way. Similar arguments have been used to preserve attorney-client, when there was more than one lawyer present for discussions with the client). Plaintiffs say if there is more than one elder there, it defeats the confidentiality privilege, because there is no expectation that a confidence was maintainable with a third person in the room.

    The other, weaker argument that WBTS makes is that all the paper work that they completed, and the records that they kept are a result of these confidential communications, and as such, those too should be confidential. On the other hand, the plaintiffs have put forth that by reason of these publications, and that they were sent to HQ, the JC has shown its intent NOT to keep the matter confidential. The reason I think the court doesn't buy the defense's argument on this, is because the JC itself publicized the JC results. At a minimum, they may have announced that penitent (the child molester) was DFed, or more full breach of confidentiality occurred by sending the complete reports with additional facts learned from the JC to the society and other congregations in which the penitent may attend.

    What the court recognizes is that when the clergy reveals the confidence (in any circumstance, beyond the sanctity of the confessional), the clergy cannot claim the privilege. So, WBTS can't then claim the privilege and have all these records of what they knew about the molester excluded from evidence at trial.

    The plaintiff wants this evidence in to show that WBTS KNEW about the molester, and with that knowledge comes responsibility. But traditionally this confidnetiality privilege was to protect the penitent, and not the church. Here, the church wants to keep the paperwork private to protect itself, not the penitent. And yet, it was church's publication of the information to other parties that "broke" the confidentiality protections. It's being used against the church, and not against the penitent, who does not stand to be prejudiced by the discovery of these documents. His culpability is not really at dispute here anyway.


  • Amazing


    Your comment about the way the WTS reworked the blood issue is correct ... except that it was not Belgium, but Bulgaria.

    Jim W.

  • Elsewhere

    Thank you for the correction!

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