March 14, 2005

Church volunteers give mixed reaction to background checks

Dateline Alabama

The Associated Press

March 14, 2005

In an effort to prevent sexual abuse in churches in South Carolina, leaders are asking would-be volunteers to undergo criminal background checks.

The request has drawn mixed reactions.

"Those who are really serious about it will submit to it," said the Rev. Curtis Johnson of Valley Brook Outreach Baptist Church. "Those who really want to work with the children understand."

Seven cases of forceable rape were reported in South Carolina houses of worship in 2003, the latest year for which figures are available from the State Law Enforcement Division. One case of forceable sodomy and 10 cases of forceable fondling also were reported, the figures show.

Posted by kshaw at March 14, 2005 06:53 AM