AL--Accused abusive priest is found not guilty; Victims respond
For immediate release: Tuesday, May 31, 2016
We are sad that jurors found an ex-priest not guilty of child sex crimes. We believe this verdict will endanger kids. We’ve spoken to this mom, Christina Presnell, and believe her, her son and her step-son. We’re convinced that Fr. David Stone, also known as Fr. Francis Mary Stone, who worked for the Eternal Word Television Network, is a dangerous cleric.
We applaud this wounded boy and his family. We are deeply grateful that they had the wisdom, courage and strength to expose a dangerous cleric in court and warn others about him. They no doubt feel betrayed again at this point. But we believe that over time, they will be proud of what they’ve achieved.
Fr. Stone has reportedly been suspended. But he is still a priest and should be referred to as a priest.
He purportedly cannot present himself publicly as a priest. But unless he’s been formally defrocked by the Vatican – and we see no evidence that this has happened – he is still a priest. (Most predator priests, including some who are in prison, are not ever defrocked.)
No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Dad hurts me': therapist says priest's son said they played 'The Butt Game'
on May 25, 2016 at 1:12 PM, updated May 25, 2016 at 2:04 PM
David Stone, 54, formerly known as Father Frances Mary Stone, was host of the TV program "Life on the Rock" on Eternal Word Television Network. He fathered a child born in 2008. The mother was fired from EWTN and Stone was put on long-term leave of absence, according to Jefferson County court documents. (Screenshot from the EWTN program 'Life on the Rock)
The child therapist who initiated an investigation of child abuse against a Birmingham Catholic priest testified today in Jefferson County Court that the priest's son told her that his father made him play what he called "The Butt Game."
A trial began Monday for David Lawrence Stone, a Catholic priest and former EWTN TV host who . . .
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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.