PA -- Group seeks victims of ex-western PA minister
For immediate release: Friday, April 10
Pastor sentenced for child sex abuse
Prosecutor says he was in Mercer County PA
Group seeks “victims, witnesses & whistleblowers”
It urges “anyone with info” to “speak up & get help”
A Protestant minister who worked in Mercer County was sentenced this week to 15 years in prison for abusing two girls in 2001 and 2002 in New York.
Rev. Roy Harriger was pastor of Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Yates, NY. He was arrested at his home in Middleport, NY in November 2013 after a state police investigation.
Rev. Harriger also spent time in Michigan, in the Milford---Oakland County area.
“We desperately hope that anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered Rev. Harriger’s crimes – in Pennsylvania, Michigan or New York – will find the courage and strength to step forward now,” said David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “It’s possible that Rev. Harriger could be prosecuted for more child sex crimes or that his church colleagues might be prosecuted for helping to conceal those crimes.”
Clohessy also stressed that coming forward often helps victims heal.
“You can recover from childhood trauma and betrayal, but not if you insist on trying to carry this awful burden alone,” he said. “It’s crucial that you break your silence and tell a relative, partner, friend, therapist or a support group like ours. That’s the first step toward rebuilding your shattered trust and self-esteem.”
Orleans County District Attorney Joe Cardone (Joe.Cardone@orleanscountyny.gov), in an email, informed SNAP that Rev. Harriger spent time in Mercer County.
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.