PA- Children’s choir director pleads guilty to child sexual abuse, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A Pennsylvania boy’s choir director pled guilty to child porn and child sexual abuse charges. We are grateful to the brave victims and witnesses who came forward in this case and urge choir officials to reach out to other potential victims.
Pennsylvania Singing Boys long time director Kenneth B. "Bernard" Schade, was arrested in March after a former choir member recorded a conversation with Schade and he admitted sexually abusing another boy.
We urge officials with in Singing Boys to write letters to all former and current choir members telling them of Schade’s abuse and urging anyone who saw, suspects or suffered abuse to report to police. It is highly probable that there are many more victims suffering in silence and self blame. We hope they will gain courage from the victim and witness who have come forward and will report to police 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. We’ve been around for 25 years and have 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.