We are proud of this courageous young girl who today had the strength to stand up in public and warn others about the dangers posed by youth pastor Jose Velez, the man who abused her. We applaud her family for believing and supporting her, and we are grateful that they were smart and brave enough to go to police instead of church officials. It is a good thing that Velez was held criminally liable for his crimes against Diana Flores, but it is sad that the Brooklyn Pentecostal Assembly still refuses to take responsibility for his actions.
Hopefully the example set today by Diana will inspire others who may have seen or suffered Velez’s crimes to step forward tell their stories as well. We also urge the church officials from the Pentecostal Assembly to aggressively seek out others who are hurting and suffering in silence and do all that is in their power to help them heal and seek justice. Despite what they have done in the past, we hope that they will show compassion towards these young victims and will resist the temptation to use dirty legal tactics in court. All these hardball tactics do is cause a more drawn out legal fight which is bad for all parties involved, and deter other victims from coming forward.