The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Federal judges to hear child sex case vs. Iowa man
Their ruling will clarify Missouri's statute of limitations
KC man says he was molested by teacher & choir director
Accused offender lost his teaching license but still heads music group
In child sex abuse cases, exactly how long do alleged victims have to sue their accused molesters? That's the question a panel of three federal judges in Kansas City will face at a hearing tomorrow.
The case involves a Kansas City man who says he was sexually violated as teenager by his high school teacher and choir director in 1992 - 1995 in Rogersville in southwestern Missouri. The accused now heads a choir in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The controversy revolves around which Missouri law - one passed in 1990 or one passed in 2005 - is applicable in this case and others.
It's believed to be the first time a federal court in Missouri will rule on that issue.
"Victims need and deserve clarity from our justice system about when they can expose child predators in court," said Barbara Dorris of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "Victims also deserve more time to take legal action to protect other kids. The sad, simple and undeniable fact is that exceptionally few children can come forward, as children, and report the heinous crimes they are experiencing."
The alleged victim, Adam Walker (417 496 8833) is represented by attorney Rebecca Randles (816 931 9901, 816 510 2704 cell). The accused, Bradley T. Barrett, is still in Iowa. He heads a community choir. Barrett's lawyer is Steven Mirakian of Wyrsch, Hobbs & Mirakian in Kansas City.
"Regardless of what the court finds, it's tragic that Logan-Rogersville school officials are trying to exploit a legal technicality like this to evade responsibility for keeping a child molester around kids," said David Clohessy of SNAP. "If school board members think they're innocent, they should let a jury hear the evidence. But instead, they want to keep the truth from surfacing in court by taking advantage of legal loopholes like the statute of limitations. They should be ashamed of themselves."
The hearing is set for May 12 before the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Walker was 30 when he filed his lawsuit in November 2008 in Missouri's Western District Federal Court.
A lower court judge dismissed portions of Walker's suit, and some of Bradley's supporters believe that ruling means Bradley is innocent.
"That's just silly. Predators seize on any sliver of news that seems favorable to them and posture as though they've been exonerated," Clohessy said. "We urge families in southern Iowa and southern Missouri to continue to keep their kids away from Barrett and to withhold judgment until this case is fully resolved."
For more info: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP national director 314 566 9790
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests