PA--Cambria County senior officials ignored reports of clergy sex crimes
For immediate release: Tuesday, March 8
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cambria County senior officials ignored reports of clergy sex crimes for over a dozen years allowing children to be needlessly placed at risk and we fear dozens upon dozens to be sexually assaulted. Attorney Richard Serbin first wrote county officials in 2002 about young men in six parishes who had been molested.
Law enforcement could have and should have acted sooner. Call on prosecutors and police to come clean about their complicity in clergy sex crimes and cover-ups and to work harder than ever now to expose wrong doers in every way possible. They should also use their “bully pulpit” to prod more victims, witness and whistleblowers to come forward and try again to report these horrific crimes.
They should join growing chorus of voices pushing for a civil window in Harrisburg allowing cases to move forward on their merits rather than automatically being time barred.
(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)
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.