DE--Group applauds charges vs. church officials in sex case
For immediate release: Monday, Nov. 9, 2015
We hope Delaware’s attorney general succeeds in winning a conviction against Jehovah Witness officials who did not report suspected child sex crimes to secular agencies.
We are grateful that these charges have been brought in the first place. All too often, law enforcement authorities pursue only the “low hanging fruit” in child sex cases: just the perpetrator. Far too rarely do prosecutors go after church officials who knew of or suspected the crimes but stayed silent or hid them.
Elders Joel Mulchansingh and William Perkins of the Seaford Kingdom Hall are accused of not reporting the sexual abuse by Katheryn Harris Carmean White, a fellow member of the congregation and a teacher’s aide at Seaford Middle School, when the victim’s mom told them about the crimes.
We beg church goers in every denomination: please call the independent, unbiased professionals in law enforcement when you see, suspect or suffer child sex crimes. Please do NOT call church officials when reporting abuse.
And we beg police and prosecutors: Spend more time and energy preventing child sex crimes and cover ups by charging those who conceal suspected child sex crimes.
Finally, we beg anyone associated with Seaford Middle School or the Seaford Kingdom Hall to aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by White.
If Perkins and Mulchansignh are found guilty, we hope they get the toughest possible penalty. That’s the best way to scare other church officials into obeying the law, protecting children and reporting crimes.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Judge holds hearing over state's claims that Jehovah's Witnesses didn't report child sex abuse
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - November 09, 2015 - 3:46 am EST
WILMINGTON, Delaware — A Delaware judge is set to hear arguments in a civil lawsuit by the attorney general's claiming that elders of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation failed to report an unlawful sexual relationship between a woman and a 14-year-old boy, both of whom were congregation members.
State law requires any person, agency, organization or entity who knows or in good faith suspects that a child is being abused or neglected to call a 24-hour hotline. The law specifically states that the reporting requirements apply to health care workers and organizations, school employees, social workers, psychologists and law enforcement officials.
But a lawyer for the Sussex County congregation is arguing that the elders are . . .
Authorities: Seaford congregation didn’t report sex abuse
Jessica Masulli Reyes and James Fisher, The News Journal 5:54 p.m. EDT August 5, 2015
A Delaware deputy attorney general will argue later this year that elders in a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Seaford failed to report that a woman and 14-year-old boy, both members of the congregation, were having a sexual relationship.
The Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against the Seaford Kingdom Hall and two of the congregation’s elders in May 2014.
A Superior Court judge in Wilmington is scheduled to hear the case Nov. 9.
Authorities claimed the elders . . .
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.