For immediate release: Thursday, April 17, 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)
We are grateful that Schook has been sentenced to 15 years. We hope he'll soon be locked up for a long time because that's the best way to safeguard kids.
No one would be fooled by his appearance or age. Child molesters are dangerous - whether young or old, healthy or sick. Let's keep in mind that Schook claimed, for months, to be too ill to attend his trial. And let's remember that child molesters often exaggerate their illnesses to win sympathy from jurors. So he may well be more healthy and mobile than he claims.
Sexually violating a child takes no real physical strength or speed. So a predator with thick glasses, stooped shoulders and a balding head is still a threat.
In fact, elderly predators are often particularly dangerous. Over decades, they often hone their skills and can more readily pick out a kids who won't tell, won't be believed, and a family that's less apt to call police. And their appearance falsely leads some parents to trust them: "He's harmless as a fly. He looks just like Grandpa!"
We hope others who saw suspected or suffered Schooks' crimes will feel some relief at this sentence and will come forward, get help, and call police. And we hope that anyone who saw or suspected cover ups of Schooks' crimes will also call law enforcement.
Finally, those who ignored or concealed his crimes - whether current or former church employees or members should also find the courage to speak up, so that other innocent people can be protected and other guilty people can be prosecuted.
(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 15,000 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com) Colleen Powell (502-479-0246, firstname.lastname@example.org) Kim Richardson (email@example.com), Jeff Koenig (502-608-2738)