IN- Pastor denied reduced sentence, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, August 27, 2014
A former Hammond Baptist pastor, who is serving a 12 year prison sentence for child sexual abuse, has had his petition to overturn his sentenced denied. We are glad the judge saw through this farce and upheld this rightly deserved sentence.
Rev. Jack Schaap was charged with using his position at the church to abuse an underage girl. He voluntarily agreed to a plea deal, and later claimed that he had a bad lawyer and his sentence should be tossed out. Gail Riplinger, a noted religious scholar, in a letter to the judge, wrote that since Schaap is a well educated man, with many lawyer friends, “(his) ‘assertion that he could not understand the words regarding the sentencing seems preposterous.’” We applaud Riplinger for speaking up.
It is always disheartening when predators attempt to avoid justice through legal loopholes or by playing ‘dumb’. We are glad he failed in his goal and that he must serve his sentence. We also hope that First Baptist Church of Hammond aggressively reaches out to anyone who saw, suspects or suffered abuse at the hands of Schaap.
(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.