Excellent point.As far as their made up two witness rule for something as serious as this, Deuteronomy 22:25-27 reads - 25 “If, however, the man happened to meet the engaged girl in the field and the man overpowered her and lay down with her, the man who lay down with her is to die himself, 26 and you must do nothing to the girl. The girl has not committed a sin deserving of death. This case is the same as when a man attacks his fellow man and murders him. 27 For he happened to meet her in the field, and the engaged girl screamed, but there no one to rescue her.”
Were there any other witnesses to this offense?
About the reporting of felonies, I think that is depending on the state where it happens.
But no matter, the fact that elders have to contact Bethel’s legal department and not the police is quite telling, isn’t it?
From the “Shepherd the flock book”:
6. Child abuse is a crime. In some jurisdictions, individuals who learn of an allegation of child abuse may be obligated by law to report the allegation to the secular authorities.—Rom. 13:1-4.
7. To ensure that elders comply with child-abuse reporting laws, two elders should immediately call the Legal Department for legal advice when the elders learn of an accusation of child abuse. A call should be made even when both persons involved are minors. The elders should not ask an alleged victim, the accused person, or anyone else to call the Legal Department on the elders’ behalf. The elders should call the Legal Department even in the fol- lowing situations:
(1) The alleged abuse occurred many years ago.
(2) The alleged abuse is based on the testimony of only
(3) The alleged abuse is believed to be a repressed memory.
(4) The alleged abuse involved perpetrators or victims who are deceased.
(5) The alleged abuse is believed to have already been reported to the secular authorities.
(6) The alleged perpetrator or victim is not in your congregation.
(7) The alleged perpetrator is a non-Witness associating with the congregation.
(8) The alleged abuse occurred before the alleged perpetrator or victim was baptized.
(9) The alleged victim is now an adult.
(10) The alleged abuse occurred in the past, and it is unclear whether your congregation elders ever called the Legal Department for direction.
8. The Legal Department will provide legal advice based on the facts and the applicable law. If the individual who is accused of the child abuse is associated with your congregation, the two elders calling should provide the Legal Department with the individual’s full name, date of birth and, if applicable, date of baptism. After speaking with the Legal Department, the caller will be transferred to the Service Department.