MA- Rabbi allegedly used funds to hide affair with teen, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A Massachusetts rabbi is being investigated for allegedly using funds from congregants to keep his affair with a teenage boy secret. We are deeply disturbed by this news.
No matter how this rabbi met this 16 year old, Starr was of course wrong to have any sexual contact whatsoever with this boy. It is always hurtful for an adult to sexually exploit a youngster, especially when the adult is a trusted religious figure.
As a trusted member of the community, Rabbi Barry Starr, betrayed the trust of his congregants by gravely misusing their donations and - more importantly - by allegedly sexually exploiting a teenager. No matter what the legal age of consent may be, there can never really be true consent between and adult and a child or between a religious leader and a congregant.
We urge Milton Jewish officials to reach out to anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered child sex crimes. We urge secular officials to investigate not only the allegations involving fraudulent use of funds, but also the abuse of a teenager.
(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)
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.