AL- Pastor arrested for sexually assaulting a minor, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A Valley Grande pastor was arrested for multiple charges of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. We are grateful this dangerous predator is in jail.
William Best Jr. was the pastor at Living Waters Worship Center on Deepwoods Drive. He was a trusted member of the community and we are glad law enforcement immediately responded when the victim’s mother brought the girl to the station to make a report. When victims report their crimes future crimes can be prevented. We applaud this victim and her family for cooperating with law enforcement so that others will be spared the awful trauma of childhood sexual assault.
We want Living Waters Worship Center officials to publicly explain how this dangerous man was able to work at the center. They should immediately create better child protection policy and reach out to anyone else who may have seen, suspected, or suffered crimes and report to police.
(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 15,000 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.