OK - Embattled church hires big PR firm
Embattled officials with Victory Christ Church in Tulsa, OK have hired one of Oklahoma's largest public relations firm to help it manage allegations that it covered up the rape of a 13-year-old girl on its campus.
Five church officials are facing charges for delaying as long as two weeks to report the girl's suspected rape.
The firm is the Tulsa-based Schnake Turnbo Franke PR. The account executive who is handling the Victory case is Jarrod Kopp. On the firm's website, Kopp's biography says "there’s no telling what he’ll pull from his bag of tricks." Kopp can be reached at 918-277-1189 or 918-430-3011.
"Instead of spending tens of thousands of donated dollars to dodge, deflect and deceive, church officials should spend that money on ensuring that kids are safe” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
Last week, John and Charica Daugherty, two ministers at Victory Christian, filed motions to have the case against them dropped, claiming that they were not responsible for the girl or her rapist while they were on the campus, and therefore cannot be charged with failing to report child abuse.
“Basically, almost every step that Victory Christian has in this horrible situation was the wrong one,” said Dorris. “Instead of protecting kids and helping police, they are protecting themselves and hiring PR people.”
"Police and prosecutors say serious child sex crimes and cover ups happened at Victory Christian. This is time for being honest, protecting kids and healing victims, not time for using gimmicks or PR 'magic',” said Dorris.
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.