OR--Victims want church officials prosecuted in abuse case
For immediate release: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
For two years, several Portland area church officials refused to call 911 about suspected child sex crimes. They should be prosecuted and jailed for as long as possible. To deter such callousness and recklessness, their selfishness should be punished as severely as possible.
A girl repeatedly told officials at the Church on the Hill – a.k.a McMinnville Church of the Nazarene – that her father was sexually abusing her. But they didn't report the alleged abuse to police or child protection workers as required under Oregon's mandatory reporting law, according to a new lawsuit.
Nothing can deter child molesters. But criminal prosecution, public exposure, lawsuits and prison can deter those who essentially protect child molesters by ignoring or hiding reports of their crimes.
Three Pennsylvania Catholic officials face charges of refusing to report suspected abuse. So too are Penn State university officials.
The tide is slowly turning, and more and more often, law enforcement is targeting those who conceal child sex crimes, not just those who commit child sex crimes.
But it’s not changing fast enough.
It will change faster if Portland area police and prosecutors go after these McMinnville church officials or use their bully pulpits to beg others who have been sexually assaulted in churches to come forward. It will change faster if Oregon lawmakers toughen mandatory reporter laws.
No matter what law enforcement officials or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups – especially in churches – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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)
Girl got herpes after church didn't report alleged abuse, suit says
By Aimee Green | The Oregonian/OregonLive on May 24, 2016 at 4:49 PM, updated May 24, 2016 at 8:51 PM
A woman who says her daughter told leaders of a McMinnville church that her father was sexually abusing her has filed a $5.2 million lawsuit, faulting church leaders for keeping quiet.
The girl, starting at age 6 or 7, confided in various church leaders over the course of nearly two years, but they didn't report the alleged abuse to police or child protection workers as required under Oregon's mandatory reporting law, according to the suit.
The leaders -- including teachers and clergy -- also didn't say anything to the girl's mother for nearly two years -- and the girl ultimately ended up contracting herpes from her biological father, the lawsuit claims.
Leaders of the Church on the Hill -- also known as McMinnville Church of the Nazarene -- mistakenly . . .
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.