Attorney Mat Staver is sharing advice for churches and their
leaders in the wake of an Ohio jury awarding damages in excess of
$3.6 million after a former pastor at Grace Brethren Church
molested a 15-year-old girl.
The jury found the church negligent in supervising former pastor
Brian Williams, who is serving an eight-year prison term (related article).
In some cases a church, just like any other
business, has been "completely negligent" and failed to heed
warning signs to protect the church, says Staver, president and
founder of Liberty
"In that case you may have some liability," he tells OneNewsNow.
"But if the church has no way of knowing that one of its agents
or members or particularly the pastor is engaged in inappropriate
activity, just like any other situation, there's going to be a lot
less possibility for liability," Staver advises.
He says in a church setting, pastors and counselors should take
precautions when meeting with others, such as a man counseling a
woman only with another woman in the room.
"This is just some simple way that we need to make sure that the
temptations of the devil don't ultimately sneak up behind us and
bring down the church," he says.
Staver adds caution and common sense go a long way toward