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.