Attorney Irwin Zalkin of the of Zalkin Law Firm answers the question.
Our daughter received very sexual text messages from an assistant choir director at our church. She is fifteen and he is twenty five. Apparently, they have been seeing each other outside of church but she says nothing physical has happened. We have found text photos of her in her underwear sent from her to him. Is this sexual abuse?
Inappropriate sexual communications or conduct by a choir director or other volunteer of a church to a young vulnerable child is sexual abuse. It is inappropriate and is unlawful. It is something that is needs to be dealt with immediately and stopped. Children are very vulnerable and impressionable and they look up to adults in organizations, like a church or school and they are susceptible to being exploited and taken advantage of through grooming and other means, which can lead to actual physical sexual abuse. The grooming of a child, preparing them for being sexually abused is in itself sexual abuse. That child needs to get some help and some intervention, professional intervention and this situation needs to be reported to law enforcement. It needs to be investigated properly.