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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Predatory preacher sues over Internet postings
Child sex case against him quietly settled for $500,000
Yet South County clergyman still heads a large church
Now, he files lawsuit against anonymous on line person
“Proven victimizer now postures as a victim,”
SNAP says Group says his “intimidating” litigation “threatens freedom of speech”
The victims will also
WHO Several victims of child sexual abuse who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
In 2007, a child molestation lawsuit was quietly settled against Rev.
James D. Manning, who heads Solid Rock Ministries in Fenton.
(www.srmonline.org, 899 Gravois Road near Highway 141, 636.343.3800).
As best SNAP can tell, there was a Post Dispatch story about the filing of the suit (in 2003), but was no media attention whatsoever about the resolution. http://www.rickross.com/reference/upci/upci32.html
Sometime after that, a person created a website and began putting documents, depositions and commentary about that child sex case on-line. http://protectkidsfromclergypredators.com/index.htm
Now, Manning has filed a civil suit against the unnamed individual, seeking more than $25,000 in damages. It calls the website “atrocious and intolerable” and claims it causes Manning “severe emotion al distress” and “bodily harm.” Interestingly, the suit does not contend that any material on the website is false.
Two weeks ago, attorneys for the man being sued filed a response in court to Manning’s claim.
SNAP believes the purpose of the suit is to intimidate any more victims, witnesses or whistleblowers from coming forward and taking action. If Manning succeeds in this litigation, SNAP is convinced it will have a chilling effect on others who suffer or expose child sex crimes and cover ups.
SNAP maintains it’s virtually always immoral for a clergyman to sue an accuser over child sex abuse, and that such lawsuits intimidate other child sex abuse victims (those who are adults now and those who are teens now) from reporting crimes, exposing predators, and protecting kids.
Manning was once active in the Hazelwood-based United Pentecostal Church International (National Headquarters, World Evangelism Center (314-837-7300, http://www.upci.org/contactUs.asp)
Manning’s church’s website vaguely acknowledges some unspecified
controversy: “In 2002, our congregation would weather a storm that would create a smaller yet stronger and more unified church family.”
Manning has also headed churches in Oregon and south St. Louis city.
Manning is represented by Clayton lawyers Mark Goodman and Drey Cooley
(314 721 7701, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com). The anonymous individual who is posting information about Manning on the web is represented by St. Paul MN attorney Patrick Noaker (651 227 9990, 612 961 1307 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org). In the 2003 lawsuit, Manning’s victim was represented by Art Margulis and Manning’s victim’s parents were represented Clayton attorney Ken Chackes (314 872 8420, 314 369 3902 cell, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
In 2002, a local Catholic priest, Fr. Alex Anderson, sued one of his accusers for slander. Despite criticism from victims and Catholics, then-bishops Timothy Dolan and Justin Rigali let the suit proceed. SNAP believes that lawsuit is likely one of the reasons Manning is filing similar litigation now.
There's a hearing on the case this Friday morning.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests