There are many issues at play here, but one of the core issues, which was also discussed in the Fessler trial, is the expectation of a member of clergy to report accusations of abuse to child protective services, and the police. This is a relatively simple issue.
However Watchtower intentionally complicates this issue, forcing elders to call the legal department instead of local authorities.
When a person becomes a member of the clergy (i.e. and elder) - there are very simple guidelines they can follow to make sure that the proper procedures are followed. There is a national website which allows anyone to click on the individual state and determine what the proper procedure is when there is a suspicion of child abuse. The side lists all mandatory reporters, and also gives a clear definition of exemptions from clergy privilege. The reality is that Watchtower legal department is not needed - what is needed is competent elders who follow the law whenever there is a report or confession of abuse. Elders are not allowed to think for themselves, which is a dangerous thing. Men who are window washers and carpet cleaners are dabbling in areas way beyond their experience. They are further prevented (or discouraged) by Watchtower from reporting certain matters because of Watchtower's policies.
An elder is supposed to be a shepherd, a judge, a leader - yet they are not allowed to think for themselves, and contact the police when necessary, and this is a recipe for absolute disaster.
During the Fessler trial, elder Hollingworth testified that he had no idea what clergy privilege was until he saw it mentioned on a TV show. He was utterly unprepared for how to handle such a serious matter. Watchtower argues that this is why they have a legal department. But this is not a valid argument when it comes to child abuse. The moment this information is shared with New York, and with other elders, clergy privilege is instantly violated - and for other reasons. There was no clergy privilege to begin with, since the elders went after Fessler and Monheim to conduct their own investigation. The private investigation which excluded civil authorities automatically killed their chance at claiming clergy privilege.
This is a no-win situation for Watchtower. Sadly, they could fix this problem very easily - but in so doing they would relinquish control over the actions of elders, and once they go down that road, the religion itself begins to fall apart. But - children must be protected, and if change comes at the expense of Watchtower, they only have themselves to blame. This has been going on for decades, but they insist on living by laws which are thousands of years old, antiquated and obsolete.
The next few years will see heavy activity in courtrooms across the US and elsewhere. Hopefully Watchtower will do the right thing and drastically revise their policies. The reality is, they have no choice.