Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

HIV-positive man accused of sexual battery on teen

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP National Outreach Director 314-862-7688
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Our hearts ache for this brave, wounded teenager. We’re grateful he has cooperated with law enforcement, even though that’s usually hard for sex abuse victims to do. His courage will hopefully spare others from being assaulted by this predator

We urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered misdeeds by Temple to call police immediately. When victims and witnesses stay silent, nothing changes. But when they do their civic and moral duty, when they reach out for help and call the law, sometimes kids are protected, justice is done, and healing begins to happen.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 21 years and have more than 9,000 members across the country. 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

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688)

HIV-positive man accused of sexual battery on teen

By JOSÉ PATIÑO GIRONA | The Tampa Tribune - Published: August 11, 2009

An HIV-positive man sexually battered a 13-year-old boy he mentored at an Auburndale Church, the Lakeland Police Department said Tuesday.

Jere Michael Temple, 58, faces six counts of sexual battery and is being held at Polk County Jail with bail set at $1.25 million, said Jack Gillen, a spokesman for Lakeland police.

Temple befriended the boy about six months ago at the Rainbow Promise Community Church, 1145 U.S. 92, Auburndale. Temple volunteered at the church in a youth mentoring program, and he became the youth's mentor.

Shortly after meeting, the boy started staying on weekends at Temple's home, 1751 Alyssum Loop, Lakeland, where they performed sexual activities a number of times, Gillen said.

The sexual acts were done without using contraceptives, Gillen said. Temple is also charged with engaging in sexual intercourse without disclosing an HIV infection.

"We feel pretty strongly that this man convinced the child that the actions were OK," Gillen said.

The boy eventually told his mother what was happening, Gillen said.

The police have no knowledge whether other children were involved, but they continue to investigate the case. The case has also been referred to the Department of Children & Families to see whether the mother acted responsibly, Gillen said.

Church pastor Karen Ducham said her heart aches for the boy.

"Michael [Temple] is going to have a long road ahead of him," Ducham said, adding that Temple "will have to pay the price to society if due process says he did it."

"We will be there to pastor after him and hope that he can work this out," she said.

Police ask anyone with information on this case to contact Detective Sonny Polk at (863) 834-8981.

WFLA reporter Josh Thomas contributed to this report. Reporter José Patiño Girona can be reached at (813) 259-7659.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests