Centerville Reverend receives settlement from lawsuit filed over false allegations of misconduct with children

Local News

According to the McNair Law Offices, PLLC, Reverend Dr. Rudolph G. Babcock was approached by an intake worker for the Crawford County Office of Children and Youth (CYS) on April 23, 2017 with false allegations of misconduct with children.

According to McNair Law Offices, no one had made allegations of this misconduct against Rev. Babcock. Despite the fact that no allegations were made, the CYS worker falsely represented to a judge over the phone that an allegation had been made, resulting in a request Order for Rev. Dr. Babcock to not be allowed to work unsupervised with children.

When Rev. Dr. Babcock initially refused to sign the Order, the CYS worker came back with law enforcement as church services at the Community Bible Church in Centerville were letting out, asking the Reverend to sign the Order again.

CYS published the Order, falsely stating that there had been allegations of sexual abuse against Rev. Dr. Babcock, to a local elementary school, where it quickly became common knowledge in the community, damaging Rev. Dr. Babcock’s reputation and the youth programs he runs at Community Bible Church.

The Order was rescinded within ten days of it being enacted, however, Rev. Dr. Babcock nor the school was informed causing Rev. Dr. Babcock to work under the order until December 2017.

Rev. Dr. Babcock filed a suit in Federal Court claiming the actions of CYS violated his right to substantive due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and deprived him of due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Under the settlement, CYS has stipulated to make changes in its investigative procedures and to the handling of sensitive allegations, to protect persons from harm based on unsubstantiated allegations or, as in this case, allegations that were never made.

The stipulation has been filed of record in Crawford County as well as the Federal Court. Further, CYS has agreed to publish a written public apology to Rev. Dr. Babcock clarifying that it caused an Order to be entered against Reverend Dr. Rudolph G. Babcock based on a report of alleged physical abuse that was determined to be unfounded and that it mistakenly added an allegation of sexual abuse, although no allegation of abuse had been made or reported to CYS or by CYS to the Commonwealth as required by law. CYS apologizes for the entry of the Court Order, and for failing to notify Rev. Dr. Babcock of the proceedings.

Crawford County Children and Youth Services, through its insurance carrier, are also making a substantial monetary payment to Rev. Dr. Babcock.

The case has now been concluded. On Friday, August 23, Judge Susan Paradise Baxter of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted Rev. Dr. Babcock’s motion to dismiss the case with prejudice.

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