Even in the US (California's Supreme Court), the penitential communication can not act as a cloak for which the church hides its crimes. Elder meetings are not in a confessional nature but more like an investigatory nature to determine guilt and punish. Further, usually the victim and her family are present at these elder meetings, including two other elders. Others in the congregation can be called in to answer. The sex abuse is then reported to headquarter staff & legal departments, thus breaking any hint that it is a religiously confidential meeting. Elder's meetings are not a mano-a-mano confidential, confessional meeting. Further, this man was a Ministerial Servant (I think i read somewhere he was) which has been proven here in the US to be an agent (quasi-employee) of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Anyway, even if he wasn't a MS, he was a baptised publisher (I.E. MINISTER) of the church. So, now, we have a non-profit organization whose agent committed a crime, it was admitted ina public forum, and the elders did not report it to the police.
Let's change up the scenario. Let's say there had been a murder. The killer and the victim's family reported it to the elders. The killer is an agent of the organization. The elders investigated the matter, talked to all parties involved, called their headquarters. The killer said he was sorry. The elders claim that the investigation was in a confessional and don't report the matter to the police. They bury the victim in silence. The killer remains in the church, until the shit hits the media fan. Then, he's relieved of the religion. How long do you think that would fly?
I am reminded that when one harbors a known criminal, they can become accessories to the crime because they concealed it. Now, I am wondering that because this victim waited and the JW policy is to tell the victim and victim's family that they can't report it to the police lest be disfellowshipped . . . if the English barrister has a cause to hold the elder's criminally culpable as an accessory.
Child sex abuse is a high level crime, against an innocent child. This is highly different then a crime directly against the church (like stealing money from the back room), where the church/victim chooses to not report it.
How did this come out? The child reached the age of majority, and reported it?