MO-Minister loses bid to reverse big verdict
Minister loses bid to reverse big verdict
Two have accused high profile Protestant preacher
One alleged victim issues her 1st public statement
Clergyman was on State Board of Education recently
One abuse case against him went to trial in August
A second lawsuit - alleging child sex abuse - was resolved
His church was ordered to pay $350,000 to one alleged victim
Group urges that his board fire him & other clerics ostracize him
SNAP: “If you’ve seen, suspected or suffered abuse by him, come forward”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
--disclose that a prominent pastor’s drive to toss out a $350,000 verdict has failed, and
--read a statement by one of the minister’s victims who has not spoken publicly before.
The group will also
--- urge the pastor’s church colleagues to suspend or fire him,
--- ask the KC religious community to shun him, for the safety of church-goers, and
--- beg anyone who may have knowledge of or suspicions about misdeeds or crimes by the minister to “call police officials, not church officials” and “speak up, rather than continue to suffer in shame, silence and self-blame.”
Monday, Nov. 3, at 1:00 p.m.
Outside Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, 4509 Troost Ave. in Kansas City, Missouri
Two-four clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). One is a St. Louis man who is the organization’s long time executive director.
In August, a jury awarded $350,000 to a woman who said that a KC MO Baptist minister, Rev. Stan Archie, abused her when she was an adult. Now, SNAP is disclosing that the judge in that case is refusing to overturn that award.
A second suit against Rev. Archie, brought by another woman, has been resolved, according to the KC Star.
It accuses the minister of “having sexually inappropriate conversations with a female minor whom he was counseling, giving her money and gifts, and later harassing her after she ended their relationship,” according to KWMU Radio in St. Louis. It was filed “by a Kansas City-area woman identified as Jane Doe” and “alleges that the Rev. Archie began committing repeated acts of sexual misconduct against (her) when she went to him for counseling at age 15,” according to the KC Star.
Jurors in the August trial found Rev. Archie’s church supervisors guilty of fraud “for misrepresenting that its 2007 investigation into her abuse allegations was a serious inquiry aimed at learning the truth.”
But they did not find the minister himself guilty. The legal explanation behind that is complicated, said David Clohessy of SNAP. It stems, in part, from “a very high bar that victims of clergy in Missouri face, thanks to a 1997 state Supreme Court ruling called Gibson vs. Brewer,” Clohessy says.
“But common sense suggests Rev. Archie’s church colleagues didn’t conduct a sham investigation because there was no underlying wrongdoing,” he stressed.
Rev. Archie is the former head of the State Board of Education and the co-founder and senior pastor of Christian Fellowship Baptist Church (816-561-7791).
The first civil suit was filed in January 2013 in Jackson County Circuit Court.
SNAP believes Rev. Archie is an abuser because he’s been sued twice, by two individuals, stepped down from the state board of education, and because of the jury’s $350,000 award and the judge’s refusal to reverse that award. SNAP has also met both of Rev. Archie’s alleged victims and finds them credible.”
“These are good, caring and brave women who have been deeply hurt and want others to be safer,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “How many times have you heard of a minister being accused twice in civil suits by an experienced victims’ attorney and it all turns out to be a misunderstanding or a falsehood?”
SNAP is begging “anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered” crimes by Rev. Archie's crimes “to come forward immediately “and get help “so that others might be spared harm.”
SNAP was disturbed by Rev. Archie's initial public response to allegations that he sexually exploited a church member. He claimed that a church investigation cleared him, but gave no details.
“It's disingenuous to claim that a church investigates its own pastor and that some other anonymous body allegedly did so too,” said SNAP director David Clohessy. “Why refuse to name the organization that supposedly checked out the accusations? Because Rev. Archie's denial of sexual misconduct is so vague and is issued through his lawyer, it rings hollow.”
“It's also troubling to see a minister attack his accuser and cry ‘extortion,’" Clohessy said. “Usually, that's a sign that a predator is trying to intimidate other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from stepping forward.”
SNAP is also asking Archie’s church colleagues, “for the safety of others,” to oust him. And the group wants the KC religious figures to avoid letting him preach or serve on boards or committees with them.
“All too often, clergy stick together and let credibly accused colleagues do guest preaching and continue treating them as if no wrong has taken place,” said Clohessy. “That’s very hurtful to victims and puts more innocent kids and vulnerable adults at risk of more harm.”
Other officials at the church include Executive Pastor Maurice Gadson, Pastor of Finance Andre Singleton, Pastor of Discipleship Robert Shelton and Youth Pastor Brian Goines, Sr.
Lawyer Michael McCausland (816 523 3000) represented Archie and the church.
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.
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.