FL- Predator pastor speaks out, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A convicted sex offender minister is using his charisma to garner sympathy and trust from the community. We hope he fails.
Florida pastor Darrell Gilyard pled guilty in 2009 to lewd and lascivious acts. In a new TV interview, Gilyard claims to be a changed man. We're highly skeptical. In our 25 years of experience, we have found that child molesting clergy rarely stop hurting kids.
We are also disappointed and worried that a judge has modified Gilyard’s probation and has allowed him to work around children.
We hope parents and the community will remain vigilant and anyone who saw, suspects or suffered child sex crimes will immediately report to secular officials.
Finally, we hope Gilyard's congregants come to their senses, oust him and start aggressively seeking out others who have knowledge of or suspicions about his misdeeds, so that he might be prosecuted, convicted and again kept away from vulnerable kids.
(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 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.