IL--Victims tell Hastert "Stop hiding"
Victims tell Hastert “Stop hiding”
Group to Scouts & schools: “Start abuse hotlines”
“Illinois Attorney General should do likewise,” SNAP urges
SNAP: This case might be “watershed” for molested students
Feds should offer more detailed indictment, organization says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, abuse victims and supporters will urge
--Dennis Hastert to hold a news conference and publicly address accusations against him,
--federal prosecutors to issue a more detailed indictment of Hastert, and
--others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes or misdeeds to call prosecutors now.
They will also prod three institutions to launch confidential, toll-free hotlines to “report suspected child sex crimes and other wrongdoing by teachers, coaches and Boy Scout officials:”
--the Illinois Attorney General’s office (312-814-3000),
--the Illinois Association of School Administrators (847-466-5075), and
--the Boy Scouts of America Chicago Area Council (312-421-8800).
TODAY, Monday, June 1 at 2:30 p.m.
In front of the Illinois Attorney General’s office, James R Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph Street in downtown Chicago
Three-four members of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP believes the indictment of ex-House speaker Dennis Hastert can be “a watershed moment” for those molested by teachers, coaches and Scout leaders and “a real chance to prod hundreds who are trapped in hopelessness and depression to get help, prevent abuse and expose wrongdoers.”
So SNAP is calling on three institutions to create dedicated hotlines for adults who were abused in any school, Scouting or athletic program to report the crimes, regardless of when they happened, and to provide information and resources to help those victims.
“The AG’s office goes after sleazy companies that take advantage of adult consumers, so why not create a mechanism to more effectively go after sleazy teachers who hurt children?’’ asked SNAP’s Barbara Blaine. “These other two institutions deal with thousands of children, some of whom are victimized. Why sit passively back and wait for each individual victim to summon the courage to call, rather than take a more active, responsible and caring approach?”
For 17 years, Hastert was active in Scouting, taking boys on trips to Minnesota, Arizona and the Bahamas (where a number of kids and adults stayed in the same cabin), according to the Chicago Tribune. He led what was then called Explorer Post 540 and on one trip where Hastert, one adult and a Japanese exchange student shared a tent.
Among his Scouting colleagues were Bob Corwin, a close friend, who went on some of the outings. Daniel Zedan is now the Scouting council commissioner for the St. Charles, Illinois-based Boy Scout Council 127 (630-584-9250).
SNAP is also pushing prosecutors to disclose more details about Hastert’s wrongdoing. BuzzFeed reports that U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon “agreed to withhold details” of Hastert’s indictment and had considered being “much more explicit (but) ultimately agreed to limit the amount of information in the indictment in part because of a request from Hastert’s attorneys.”
SNAP believes that protecting the privacy of Hastert’s victims is crucial. But at the same time, more details about Hastert’s wrongdoing “may deter others from committing or concealing child sex crimes,” SNAP says. The group also questions the value of making concessions around secrecy to a credibly accused child molester.
SNAP is also praising Wheaton College officials for removing Hastert’s name from a building and
Illinois House's members’ decision to shelve a $500,000 proposal to put a statue in the state Capitol honoring Hastert.
A judge is expected to arraign Hastert this week.
A copy of the indictment is here: