For immediate release: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Statement by Judy Jones of St. Louis, Midwest Assistant Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (636 433 2511, 314 974 5003, firstname.lastname@example.org)
We are grateful that McAlester prosecutors are appealing the recent dismissal of a child sex abuse case involving a Jehovah's Witness elder (Ronald Lawrence) who is accused of molesting three girls.
No predator should walk free because of an arbitrary, archaic deadline called the statute of limitations. It's a law that gives adults who commit and conceal heinous crimes against kids tons of incentive to intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses, destroy evidence, transfer predators and keep a tight lid on the truth (until the deadline expires and they escape consequences.)
Many judges in many jurisdictions have ruled that deliberate moves to hide child sex crimes effectively freezes the statute of limitations and have let prosecutors proceed in those cases. No callous employer should be rewarded for concealing suspicions or knowledge of dreadful crimes against kids from law enforcement.
We hope the prosecutors win their appeal. That will not only protect kids from Lawrence. It will also protect other kids by deterring decision-makers from helping child predators hide their crimes.
(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)