AR--Victims back Arkansas police in Duggar case
For immediate release: Tuesday, May 26
A male Arkansas politician claims a female police chief should be fired for releasing a police report about alleged child sex crimes by prominent conservative activist Josh Duggar.
But the politician says nothing about two male officials who also played a role in document’s release.
We’re very skeptical of State Senator Bart Hester claim that he’s worried about the privacy of Duggar’s alleged victims. We’re not convinced he’s sincere.
Time and time again, we’ve seen officials profess concern over victims’ privacy when their real goal is to preserve predators’ secrecy.
The victims’ names were redacted from the police report. And it’s been days since the report was released but we’ve heard no one else say they’re worried about the victims’ privacy. That’s not to say that Hester is entirely off base. It is indeed crucial that the safety of victims – and their confidentiality – is safeguarded.
But it’s even more crucial that kids are safeguarded. That’s what exposing proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters does.
When a predator is “outed” and families are warned about him, usually his victims feel better. And almost always, kids are safer. So if we must err, let’s err on the side of protecting the actual safety of vulnerable kids, rather than on the side of protecting the perceived feelings of adults.
We’re glad the police report was disclosed. We’re glad that Springdale Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley, Mayor Doug Sprouse and City Attorney Ernest Cate agreed to put kids’ safety first.
We’re glad Duggar’s alleged victims’ names are still private and hope they will remain so. And we hope that others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Duggar or cover ups by church officials will find the strength to protect others, expose wrongdoers, get help and start healing.
(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)
Bart Hester, Arkansas lawmaker, wants police chief fired over release of Josh Duggar report
By Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Arkansas state Sen. Bart Hester wants Springdale Police Chief Kathy O'Kelley fired over the recent release of a 2006 police report that contained allegations that Josh Duggar as a teen molested five underage girls, including his sisters.
Mr. Hester, a Republican, said Ms. O'Kelley acted recklessly in releasing the report and accused her of . . .