AL – Pastor charged with refusing to report abuse, SNAP responds

AL – Pastor charged with refusing to report abuse, SNAP responds

For immediate release, Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Statement by Amy Smith of Dallas, Texas, Volunteer Baptist Leader for SNAP, the Survivors Network (

Huntsville Police have arrested a Baptist pastor for failing to notify law enforcement or the Department of Human Resources after receiving a report of alleged sexual abuse. Michael Walker, a pastor at Southside Baptist Church, learned of the alleged abuse in March of 2017, but the alleged perpetrator was not arrested until last month.

SNAP has no direct knowledge about either set of allegations in this case. However, as advocates for child sex abuse victims, we recognize the absolute necessity of reporting all allegations of crimes against children to the professionals in law enforcement. Mandatory reporters are not required to investigate, but they can make a huge difference in the lives of young people who are being abused by reporting allegations to those who are qualified to investigate.

Whether or not the allegations against Pastor Walker are found to be true or not, we applaud the Huntsville Police for investigating them. Mandatory reporters are on the front lines of defending children, and when they fail to do their job they should be held accountable to the full extent of the law.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is

Contacts – Amy Smith (, Barbara Dorris (, Melanie Jula Sakoda (, Joelle Casteix (


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