SC--Victims hope SC predator's death will bring healing
For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 13
A Baptist preacher who was accused of molesting kids and ran a controversial South Carolina childrens' home has passed away.
Mack Ford opened and operated childrens homes in Louisiana and in Waltersboro, SC. He allegedly assaulted girls in Louisiana.
According to the New Orleans Picayune, “In both of those locations, abuse allegations resulted in criminal charges, though not against Ford.
In 1981, Longstreet school manager L.D. Rapier was arrested and charged with cruelty to children after four boys ran from the home and told authorities they'd been beaten. The charges were eventually dropped.
In 1984, South Carolina authorities closed the Waltersboro home after they found a 14-year-old sleeping in a windowless padlocked cell, where he had been for several days. Two employees there were charged with unlawful neglect of a child and kidnapping, and they eventually pleaded to a lesser charge of false imprisonment.”
We hope Ford’s death will bring some measure of closure and healing to the kids’ whose lives he devastated. Though he goes to his grave having faced no consequences for his child sex crimes, Ford’s victim can take a little comfort from knowing that he can’t assault any more children.
We hope these brave women will also take pride in having publicly exposed him and in convincing a prosecutor to convene a grand jury to dig in to Ford’s awful crimes. No doubt others who were raped and sodomized as children found inspiration in their courage.
We also hope that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes at these homes will find the strength to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers and start healing. Finally, we hope SC lawmakers will extend or eliminate the archaic, predator-friendly statute of limitations that helps predators escape justice and endangers kids. We should be making it easier, not harder, for child sex abuse victims to expose adults who commit or conceal these heinous crimes.
“The moral arc of the universe is long but bends towards justice,” Martin Luther King once said. In the conventional sense, these deeply wounded women found no justice in the courts. But in the court of public opinion, they clearly prevailed.
King also said “No lie lives forever.” All of us should be grateful that these strong women unveiled Mack Ford’s many lies.
We wish them continued strength in their recovery from the horrific childhood trauma Ford forced on them for his selfish pleasure.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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)