CA--Victims challenge Presbyterians in child sex case
For immediate release: Friday, March 6
A Santa Barbara Presbyterian church and high ranking church officials are being sued for concealing and enabling child sex crimes.
We applaud this brave young woman for having the strength to take action against the man who assaulted her in Santa Barbara and the Presbyterian officials who enabled those crimes to happen.
By her bravery, she is no doubt sparing other kids horrific trauma and deterring other officials – in churches, hotels and elsewhere – from acting so recklessly and callously in the future.
We challenge Presbyterian officials to show real courage and compassion by aggressively seeking out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Louis Bristol’s crimes, either at Carpinteria Community Church or elsewhere.
It’s important that anyone with information or suspicions about his crimes or church cover ups to call law enforcement, expose wrongdoing, protect others, deter cover ups and start healing.
And it’s important that both law enforcement officials and church officials pursue those who hid Bristol’s crimes. Too often those who commit child sex crimes are punished while those who conceal child sex crimes are ignored.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have 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)
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.