AR--Arkansas chaplain convicted of abuse; Victims respond
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 5, 2016
We are grateful that a predatory prison chaplain was caught, pled guilty and has been sentenced. We hope others with information or suspicions about the crimes of Kenneth Dewitt will come forward and start healing. http://www.areawidenews.com/story/2319355.html
All too often predators seek positions like chaplain where they’ll have authority over and access to vulnerable individuals who are less likely to report crimes or be believed if they do.
None of this should be considered or called “relationships.” Dewitt had massive power over these women. They could not genuinely consent. Being convicted of a crime should not subject one to rape and exploitation, especially by a purported “man of God.”
No matter what church or governmental officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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)
Women's prison chaplain pleads guilty to sexual assault in Sharp County Circuit Court
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor
Arkansas' prison systems have come under fire at the federal level in the last few years for rising sexual assault and harassment allegations against inmates, including a federal investigation by the Department of Justice into prisons such as the McPherson Unit in Newport last June. In a case that has drawn national attention and even prompted new training and policies for prison employees, a former prison chaplain was sentenced July 5, in Sharp County Circuit Court.
Judge Harold Erwin accepted a . . .
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.