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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Child sex suit filed vs. St. Joe church

Congregants rallied around admitted predator in court

SNAP want "outreach" about recently-sentenced Protestant molester

It also urges church-goers to support pedophile "privately, not publicly"

SNAP: “Child molester's most recent employer, a non-profit, should also do outreach”

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims will announce and discuss a new child molestation lawsuit is being filed against a St. Joseph Protestant church and a former church official.

They will also
-- harshly criticize a local judge, for being lenient with the recently-sentenced child molester, and
-- urge current and former members of the church to try find and help others hurt by him

Finally, the victims will also urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes the man's crimes to come forward, get help and call police.

WHEN
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
Outside New Life Bible Church, 3811 Pacific St. (corner of S. 38th) in St. Joseph MO (816 364 5510)

WHO
Two sex abuse victims (and supporters) who are members of a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
Last month, Buchanan County Circuit Court Judge Dan Kellogg sentenced Michael J. Landy of St. Joseph to at least 120 days of shock detention for statutory sodomy in the second-degree. In October, Landy pled guilty to having molested a girl in his congregation, New Life Bible Church.

Now, that girl is filing a civil lawsuit against Landy and New Life church officials. The crimes happened from 196 to 1999.

Despite the lawsuit, SNAP believes church members have a moral duty to reach out and try to find others who may have been hurt by Landy. They also want Landy’s most recent employer, officials with OATS Inc. (573-449-3789) to do likewise.

SNAP feels the sentence was far too lenient. Despite Lindy's admission, members of Landy's church turned out in force at his sentencing, some arguing for leniency. SNAP believes such public shows of support for an admitted child molester is wrong and reckless, intimidating others who see, suspect or suffer child sex crimes from reporting the abuse and stopping the crimes.

The group asked the congregation to publicly apologize for its actions and ought a public meeting with the congregation. (Church leaders: Ron & Pat Fisher 816 667 5422.) After a few calls and e mail exchanges, SNAP stopped hearing from church officials. One New Life official, J.W. Trimmer 660-939-2396, said he’d make sure congregants got copies of a SNAP flier called “What To Do When Your Minister Is Accused.” http://www.snapnetwork.org/links_homepage/when_minister_accused.htm

Some argue Landy should be forgiven. SNAP considers forgiving someone a private and often healing act. But giving a known child predator an exalted title and role and access to kids is a public and always risky act, the group says.

SNAP is deeply saddened that Landy will spend so little time behind bars. Jailing child molesters for long periods is the only proven way to protect kids from devastating harm, the group feels. At the same time, SNAP is very glad this young woman found the courage to speak up and seek justice. The organization applauds her strength and her persistence and believes her bravery will likely spare others from being hurt by Landy.

Finally, SNAP strongly suspects there are others with information about other crimes by Landy. The group urges anyone with any knowledge of his misdeeds - however slight, old or vague - to call law enforcement. The best thing that can happen now, SNAP feels, would be if other victims and witnesses stepped up, more charges were filed, and Landy was given a stronger sentence.

http://www.snapnetwork.org/links_homepage/when_priest_accused.htm

http://www.stjoenews.net/news/2010/jan/06/former-oats-director-sentenced/?local

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2010/01_02/2010_01_14_Hall_SNAPPetitions.htm

The victim is represented by Rebecca Randles (816-510-2704) and Sarah Brown (816-931-9901)

Contact - Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell), David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home)


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
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