AR--Arkansas Catholic officials must do outreach in abuse case
For immediate release: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016
Arkansas Catholic officials should aggressively seek out anyone who might have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by a Catholic teacher.
Erica Suskie has been arrested for allegedly molesting a boy at Catholic High School.
In nearly every case, church officials do little or nothing to help – and instead sometimes hinder – the investigating and prosecuting of child sex cases. Catholic institutions, however, have many ways they can prod victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police and prosecutors. But they rarely use these resources to make sure child molesters are kept away from kids.
We call on Arkansas Bishop Anthony Taylor, and every Catholic employee, to spread the word about the charges against Suskie. We urge them to ask others, especially current and former students and staff at Catholic High School, to call 911 if they have any information or suspicions about this teacher or other child sex crimes or cover ups in Catholic parishes or schools. We beg them to use church bulletins and school mailing lists and parish websites in this outreach effort.
We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Catholic employees or cover ups by Catholic officials will find the strength to call police, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.
(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)
Former Catholic High substitute teacher charged with sexual assault
By Jaime Dunaway, February 2, 2016
A former substitute teacher at Catholic High School for Boys surrendered to authorities Tuesday on a charge of sexual assault in the first degree, prosecutors said.
Erica Suskie appeared in North Little Rock District Court on Tuesday morning and entered a plea of not guilty, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Scott Carroll said on Twitter.
Suskie was with her husband, former Arkansas Public Service Commission chairman Paul Suskie, at the brief hearing.
The Suskies were . . .
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.