NC- Pastor charged with sexual battery, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A North Carolina pastor has been charged with sexual battery after harassing a woman at a hotel yesterday.
It is extremely troublesome when a trusted member of the community is charged with any kind of sexual offense. We hope, although are doubtful, that this was an isolated incidence.
We urge anyone else, who may have been hurt by Pastor Robert Harris to speak up, report to police and start healing. We especially urge any current or former staff or members at his church to call police if they have any information or suspicions that might help them learn more of the truth about this case.
(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.
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.