AL- Victim files lawsuit against church where predator worked
For immediate release: Friday, July 25, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A victim of a former children’s minister from Alabama, who pleaded guilty to child sex crimes, is now suing his perpetrator and the church. We applaud this man’s bravery for working to hold not just the perpetrator, but also those who should have been supervising, responsible.
Jeffery Dale Eddie was the children’s minister at Highland Park Baptist Church, where he admitted to sexually abusing a child there. Church officials at Highland Park Baptist church hired Eddie and allowed him to work with children and presumably did nothing to protect children. They should be held accountable and we are grateful to the brave victim for doing so.
We are also grateful to the brave whistleblower that altered authorities. It is through the brave actions of whistleblowers and victims that keeps dangerous predators away from children. We hope this lawsuit will give courage to anyone who may have seen, suspects, or suffered sexual abuse to call authorities and will motivate other officials to be vigilant about child sex crimes.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have 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)
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.