IA - Youth pastor arrested for sexual abuse of two teenage girls
For immediate release: August 8, 2013
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 Des Moines youth pastor has been charged with child sex crimes. His church supervisors and members must now seek out others who he may have hurt.
Ryan M. McKelvey Heritage Assembly Church is accused of molesting two girls. The church's pastor claims to be "unaware" of any of McKelvey's inappropriate behavior. We doubt that.
In almost every case, evidence surfaces showing that church officials or members saw and ignored or hid "warning signs" of abuse.
We applaud the two victims and their families for courageously coming forward and cooperating with the police despite threats of doing so by the predator. We urge current and former Heritage Assembly Church members and staff to aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by McKelvey and prod them to call police and prosecutors so that McKelvey can be convicted and kept away from kids for a long time.
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.