MD--Catholic volunteer is arrested on child sex charges
For immediate release: Friday, Dec. 9, 2016
A Catholic church volunteer has been arrested on child sexual abuse. Now Baltimore Archbishop William Lori must act. If he doesn’t other church staff and members should.
Terrence Shondry Smalls is charged this week with sex abuse of a minor, second degree assault, child abuse, second-degree custodian and second-degree sex offense, crimes he allegedly committed at Church of the Nativity in Lutherville. He also worked or volunteered at a Girl Scout troop, Epworth church and at Pot Spring Elementary School.
Lori should personally visit Nativity this weekend. He should beg anyone with information or suspicions about Smalls to call police. He should use church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements across the archdiocese to do the same.
Why? Because that’s what a caring shepherd would do. Because that’s what will help police and prosecutors resolve this case. Because that’s what will help keep Smalls behind bars longer if he’s convicted. Because that might help avoid Smalls exploiting technicalities and going free. And because that’s how Catholic officials will start to break the centuries-long culture of secrecy in the church about sexual crimes, misdeeds and cover-ups.
Officials at the Girl Scouts, Epworth and Pot Spring Elementary should do likewise. History, psychology and common sense all suggest there are other Smalls victims out there. They need help. Outreach will find them.
Baltimore church officials are saying “If church personnel are suspected of committing the abuse, call the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection.” That’s wrong. That’s reckless. That’s self-serving. Police or prosecutors should be called when anyone knows of or suspicions crime, period.
No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches, schools or other institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
Baltimore County church volunteer charged with child sex abuse
WMAR Staff - 12:09 PM, Dec 9, 2016
TIMONIUM, Md. - A volunteer at the Church of the Nativity in Lutherville has been charged with sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl, Baltimore County Police said.
Terrence Shondry Smalls, 26, of Lutherville was charged this week with sex abuse of a minor, second degree assault, child abuse, second-degree custodian and second-degree sex offense. He is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.
Police said the girl told her mother last month she had been sexually abused by a man volunteering in the church nursery during a Sunday morning mass.
Police said Smalls has been employed or has volunteered at a number of locations that put him in contact with . . .
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.