Contact: Sandra Hoekstra-Lower
Phone: 630-260-6200 x4224

The allegations of child molestation by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky stunned the nation last fall. The Penn State scandal contains several lessons of direct relevance to church leaders. Twelve of the significant lessons are addressed in the May/June issue of Church Law & Tax Report.

Carol Stream, IL March 23, 2012—In the 25th anniversary issue of Church Law & Tax Report releasing in May church attorney and CPA, Richard Hammar, presents twelve lessons church leaders can learn from the Penn State scandal. The lessons addressed in the article include:

1. Recognize "grooming" behavior

2. Abuse disguised as "horseplay"

3. The duty to report child abuse—what is reportable abuse?

4. The duty to report child abuse—mandatory reporters

5. The duty to report child abuse—report to whom?

6. Criminal liability for failing to report

7. Civil liability for perpetrators of child abuse

8. Civil liability of employers for employees' failure to report child abuse

9. Civil liability for employers based on negligent hiring, retention, and supervision

10. Two-adult rule

11. Insurance for intentional acts

12. Access by former employees

Situations like that of Penn State tarnish the image and reputation of those involved in the despicable acts, but also those people and organizations who had the responsibility to report and failed to report. An important lesson for church leaders is to treat every allegation of misconduct seriously, take immediate steps to protect the congregation from being victimized, and in the case of child abuse, make a report to civil authorities immediately.

Church leaders can get the complete report on the twelve lessons by subscribing to Church Law & Tax Report at the special 25th anniversary rate. Richard Hammar will also be holding a free webinar on Wednesday, May 2 on Child Abuse Reporting Laws—What Churches Can Learn from Penn State you can sign up for the webinar today (space is limited).

Christianity Today is a nonprofit, global media ministry that serves the church through digital and print publications, as well as practical and accessible web resources that together reach more than 2.5 million people every month.

# # #