BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana judge has struck down a state requirement that clergy members report suspected child abuse even if they learn about it during a private confessional.

State District Judge Mike Caldwell ruled Friday that a Louisiana Children's Code provision violates the religious freedom rights of a Roman Catholic priest accused of neglecting his duty to report a teenager's abuse allegations to authorities.

The Advocate reports ( ) that Caldwell ruled in the Rev. Jeff Bayhi's favor in a lawsuit involving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge.

Rebecca Mayeaux, the 22-year-old plaintiff, says she was 14 in 2008 when she told Bayhi during confession that a 64-year-old parishioner was sexually abusing her. Mayeaux claims Bayhi told her to "sweep it under the floor and get rid of it."


Information from: The Advocate,

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