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People v. Hodges

Superior Court of California, Appellate Department
13 Cal. Rptr. 2d 412 (1992)


Christine G., a 17-year-old student of the South Bay Christian Academy, informed a teacher that her stepfather had been molesting her for years. The teacher arranged a meeting between Christine and Mr. Hodges (defendant), the school president and pastor of the church that operated the school. After Christine told Hodges of the abuse, he told her not to tell anyone and that he would take care of the situation. Mr. Nobbs (defendant), the school principal and assistant pastor, also got involved. Hodges met with the stepfather and had him write a letter of apology to Christine. The stepfather was also to apologize in front of the congregation. After Christine received the letter, Hodges had a meeting with her and her parents, against Christine’s objection. Hodges told Christine to go home with her parents, which she did not want to do out of fear of her stepfather. Christine ran away rather than return home. When she went to school, Hodges told her that she would not be allowed back at school or to graduate unless she went home. Neither Hodges nor Nobbs ever reported the abuse to authorities. The state of California (plaintiff) charged Hodges and Nobbs with violating state law requiring “child care custodian[s]” to report known or suspected incidents of child abuse. Hodges and Nobbs were convicted. They appealed, contending that they were not “child care custodian[s]” and that the law was unconstitutional as applied to them.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Moon, J.)

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