SC- Pastor arrested for child sexual abuse, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, July 17, 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 South Carolina pastor has been arrested after allegations of child sexual abuse were reported. We are grateful to the brave victim who came forward and is working to help protect other children.
Gerig Michael Huggins is a full time chaplain at the Medical University and an Assemblies of God pastor. Huggins allegedly abused a 14 year old boy in Georgia and South Carolina. According to Medical University’s website Huggins has been a pastor in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
We are concerned that Huggins has many more victims in these states and urge officials at Assemblies of God to reach out to anyone who might be suffering in silence and self-blame.
We urgently urge law enforcement to investigate any other possible victims. We also beg anyone who saw, suspects or suffered abuse by Huggins to call police right away and help protect children.
(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.