AK--Allegations of abuse at Orthodox school
For immediate release: Friday, January 16, 2015
A new website makes serious allegations of abuse at an Orthodox school in Kodiak.
So far on the site seven former students have described their experiences at St. Innocent’s Academy. Those statements paint a disturbing picture of physical, psychological and spiritual abuse by the head of the school, Father Paisius De Lucia.
Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commend these young people for making their allegations public.
“All too often Church authorities quietly ignore allegations of abuse, and more people are hurt,” said Melanie Sakoda of SNAP. “But when victims have the courage to speak out publicly, it makes it very difficult for a cover-up to take place.”
“Criminal behavior is best investigated by the professionals in law enforcement,” continued David Clohessy, the executive director of SNAP. “We hope that anyone who experienced, witnessed, or suspected abuse at the academy will report to the police, get help and begin healing.”
Cappy Larson, also of SNAP, concluded, “We are very grateful to these brave survivors for coming forward and sharing their truth.”
St. Innocent’s Academy is a ministry of the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.