Mo. House considers clergy sex legislation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is considering legislation that would make it a crime for clergy to have sexual contact with adults whom they are counseling.

It would be a felony for a member of the clergy to have sexual contact within 120 days of a meeting for religious, spiritual, marital or relationship advice, counseling or therapy. The bill also covers instances in which a clergy member uses a position of trust or authority to engage in sexual contact.

Consent would not be a defense. Violators could face up to seven years in prison.

Sponsoring House member Kathie Conway, a Republican from St. Charles, said Tuesday the legislation is aimed at situations that involve adults.

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