NC- Former pastor faces additional charges, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A North Carolina ex-pastor has been charged with an additional 26 child sexual abuse charges after more victims came forward. We are grateful to the victims who have come forward and reported to police. Their bravery will help others who are suffering in silence and self-blame.
Orlando Augusto Caldera was a minister at Memorial United Methodist Church. A 6 year old, a 10 year old and one of the children’s mother reported to police that Caldera had sexually abused them. Their bravery encouraged an additional 5 victims to come forward.
We hope anyone else who was hurt by Caldera, or any other church officials, will find the courage to speak up, report what they know to police, protect others, and start healing.
(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.