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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

For immediate release: Monday, April 11

Sex abuse victims blast new bill

Its sponsor is “endangering kids,” group says

Lawmaker who owns camp makes it tougher for kids molested at camps

A North Carolina lawmaker wants to make it tougher for child sex abuse victims to expose predators in court. His proposal is being blasted by a Chicago-based self-help group for men and women sexually abused in religious organizations and in institutional settings.

Last week, Asheville representative Chuck McGrady introduced a measure that would bar any child who was molested before turning eight years old by a health care provider or at a child care facility (which includes camps) from filing any civil action once the child turns ten. According to news accounts, McGrady directed a camp in Henderson County at which child sex abuse allegations surfaced in 2001 and works closely now with camp directors across the state.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are calling the bill “perhaps the worst legislative proposal we’ve seen in decades, fueled by the most selfish motives.”

“This should be called 'The Child Predator Protection Act,'” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “All across the globe - in the US and elsewhere - lawmakers are making it easier, not harder, for victims to expose child predators in court. This proposal does just the reverse. It will make North Carolina kids less safe and North Carolina sex offenders more emboldened.”

Under McGrady’s plan, the statute of limitations would begin running at the time of the abuse for any child at least eight years old instead of beginning to run at age 18. In all other types of cases In North Carolina, the running of the statute of limitations does not begin to run on claims until children turn 18. McGrady also wants to also limit damages for emotional distress or psychological injuries in sex abuse cases to $500,000.

“One reason tens of thousands of pedophiles escape responsibility for their crimes is because our legal system makes it very cumbersome and painful for victims to expose pedophiles,” he explained. “As responsible adults, we must make it easier, not harder, for crime victims – especially those who endure devastating child sex crimes – to come forward and take action.”

On June 23, 2001, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that a camp counselor at Falling Creek Camp near Tuxedo was fired after being investigated for allegedly molesting an 11 year old child. At the time, McGrady was the camp’s director.

The web site for Falling Creek Camp indicates that McGrady and his wife Jean “guided Falling Creek as owners and directors from 1989-2005” and “remain closely affiliated with camp as Directors Emeritus.” However, corporate records on file with the North Carolina Secretary of State reveal that Falling Creek Camp for Boys, Inc. changed its name to Tap Roots, Inc. and that in Tap Roots last report on file, which was dated in 2009, McGrady was listed as “President.” McGrady also served one term as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Youth Camp Association.

(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 23 years and have more than 10,000 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)

CONTACT: David Clohessy 314-566-9790 SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barb Dorris , 314-862-7688, 314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com


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