Must the testimony of two witnesses of child abuse be them witnessing the abuse as it happens (seeing or hear it), or can it be two witnesses of strong circumstantial evidence as described on the back page of the July study edition Watchtower?
If the two witnesses must have actually witnessed the abuse take place, how would that work in the two scenarios below?
Pioneer Johnny has been privately counseled by the elders in the past not to be so “touchy” with kids in the hall, always given them big hugs and the like. One day Johnny goes out in service and there are four people in the car. A married couple, pioneer Johnny and 14 year old Suzy. They finish up their field service and the married couple tell Johnny to just drop them off at their house instead of at the Hall (one of their cars is there) because they had forgotten to turn off the oven with food in it. So, Johnny drops them off and on the short drive to the Hall, Johnny gropes Suzy. As Johnny pulls into the Hall parking lot he sees elder John & his wife, who’s supposed to take Suzy back home. Pioneer Johnny and elder John exchange a quick “how was service”, and then elder John & his wife start their drive to take Suzy home. Suzy, still stunned, is silent the whole way. After being dropped off, Suzy runs inside the house and tells her parents that Johnny abused her. Being good JW parents, their first call is to the elders.
Same exact circumstances as Scenario 1, with the same sequence of events, except the elders privately counsel Johnny not to be “touchy” and always hugging on the sisters,Suzy is 24 years old and Elder John & his wife just wave bye to Johnny as they pass by each other in their cars, with Johnny and Suzy pulling in and Elder John & his wife leaving. Johnny still gropes Suzy.
In both scenarios there is strong circumstantial evidence that Johnny groped Suzy.
The witnesses to the circumstantial evidence are the married couple and Elder John & his wife.
My point being, even though all the circumstances are the same, I think if Suzy was 24 years old, Johnny would find himself in a judicial committee as fast as a New York minute because of the strong circumstantial evidence, but if Suzy was an early teen the elders would tell poor little Suzy’s parents that they need two witnesses to the act of abuse before they can move forward.
How do you think it would be handled? Do elders take witnesses of strong circumstantial evidence as a warrant for a judicial committee for child abuse?