NM--Another Catholic child sex abuse case; Victims respond
For immediate release: Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016
A child molesting teacher was given another decade around kids because Catholic officials claim they “couldn’t substantiate” a child sex abuse report against him. Parents, police, prosecutors and parishioners who think that church officials are “doing better” with abuse should think again.
Aaron Chavez has finally been arrested. He’s accused of molesting five kids at Santo Nino Catholic School. One of them was six years old.
But the first abuse report against Chavez was made to Catholic officials in 2007. Because bishops insist on dealing with abuse reports in secrecy, they can later claim “gee, we found no proof so we kept the accused predator on the job.” If they would be open about these allegations, more evidence and other victims would likely emerge. Instead, church officials keep quiet, protecting their careers and reputations while endangering boys and girls.
Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester should visit this school immediately. He should urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered Chavez’ crimes – or cover ups by his colleagues – to call police.
We hope every single person who has information or suspicions about Chavez, or other child molesting Catholic staff, will find the strength to call law enforcement now. That’s the only real way to protect kids, expose wrongdoers, deter cover ups 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. 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)
Mother of alleged victim: Police declined to press charges against teacher
By Candace Hopkins February 4, 2016,
SANTA FE (KRQE) – A Catholic school teacher accused of fondling young students is in even deeper trouble.
He’s been hit with another round of charges, accused of molesting four more students.
KRQE News 13 first told you about 47-year-old Aaron Chavez two weeks ago. He was arrested after a 6-year-old at Santo Nino Catholic School said he had touched her inappropriately. That student told her mom her art teacher was making her uncomfortable. She later claimed Chavez touched her genitals and buttocks while tucking in her shirt during an art class. News of his arrest led to a bigger case.
“Other individuals have come forward to the detectives to report inappropriate contact with children at the Santo Nino elementary school,” said Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Juan Rios.
Investigators say there are now . . .
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.