FL- Ex-school board head charged with child sexual crimes; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, June 5, 2014
Statement by Becky Ianni of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (703-801-6044, SNAPVirginia@cox.net)
A former school board chairman and federal employee who lives in Florida has been indicted on charges related to the sexual abuse of four children in Virginia. We urge law enforcement and school officials in Florida to reach out to other possible victims. We fear that he may have either committed or concealed child sex crimes in Florida.
We applaud the federal authorities and the Stafford County Sheriff’s office for their efforts in bringing Thomas Francis Villacres to justice. Without their efforts, he may never have been exposed and countless children might still be in danger.
Our heart goes out to these brave victims. We hope anyone who saw, suspects or suffered child sexual abuse by Villacres will call police, 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. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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)
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (email@example.com, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (email@example.com, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More