NE- Former youth pastor faces 40 years in prison, victims respond
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 22, 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 former youth pastor from Kearney was sentenced to 17-40 years in prison for sexually assaulting 3 boys. We are grateful to the brave victims who spoke up and to the judge for a strict sentence.
It is always extremely troublesome and disappointing when some entrusted by the community to guide children exploits this trust and abuses children. We hope that church officials where Thomas A. Jones worked will aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered child sexual abuse and encourage them to call police.
(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 23 years and have more than 10,000 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.