AL--Ex-Alabama preacher arrested on child sex crimes; Victims respond
For immediate release: Friday, July 3
A former Alabama pastor who’s accused of repeatedly abusing two boys has been arrested in New Orleans.
Ryan Scott Rodgers is charged with sexual battery and seven counts of indecent behavior with juveniles. He worked at Liberty Park Baptist Church in Vestavia Hills for six years (from 2003 through 2009), According to Liberty’s pastor Scott Guffin.
Law enforcement is urging others to come forward with any information about Rodgers’ alleged child sex crimes, because detectives believe Rodgers sexually assaulted other victims during the same time period. (Call Detective Taillon at 504-658-5753.) We beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Rodgers’ crimes to do their civic and moral duty and call law enforcement.
Investigators are waiting on background checks from Mississippi and Alabama. http://www.wwltv.com/story/news/local/orleans/2015/06/24/youth-minister-accused-of-molesting-teens/29254401/
We beg Baptist officials in Alabama and Louisiana - and anywhere else Rodgers has worked - to show courage and compassion by actively seeking out anyone else who may have been hurt by Rodgers.
It’s the responsibility of those with information or suspicions about sex crimes to call police. Church officials gave Rodgers access to innocent kids. So church officials need to step up, speak out, reach out and try to find and help his victims while also helping law enforcement convict him.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org), Amy Smith (281-748-4050,email@example.com)
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.