In 1994, a teenage boy molested by a youth group leader from the Eastern Shore Chapel in Virginia Beach ( Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia) sued the church and the diocese for $2 million. His parents sought $1 million in damages. The lawsuit stemmed from youth group director Ronald L. Roberson’s 1992 guilty plea to molestation charges, resulting in six months in jail, a fine, and 300 hours of community service. Roberson was a high school English teacher and wrestling coach during his tenure as the church’s youth group director, when he admitted molesting a 14 year old boy approximately 25 times at retreats, camping events, and other church-sponsored activities. The Diocese’s defense was that the admitted crimes did not occur on church property, and the perpetrator was a volunteer.
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