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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Thursday, December 9, 2010

Minister arrested for child sex crimes; SNAP responds

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

This tragic case highlights two important but often overlooked facts: even those with respected positions and titles can be child molesters and there’s no magic age at which a sex offender stops offending.

It’s tempting but reckless to assume that child molesters are obvious social misfits who are easily spotted and give one “the creeps.” They aren’t. Most often, child predators are charming, charismatic, warm and outgoing. They seem as normal as can be. That’s how they fool both kids and adults. And that’s why we must be vigilant, especially around those with prominent jobs and titles, because child molesters gravitate toward these positions to win the trust of adults and to gain access to kids.

It’s also tempting but reckless to assume that elderly people can’t be dangerous. Wrong again. To be a successful car-jacker, one must be fast. To be a successful bar fighter, one must be strong. But to be a successful child molester, one must be clever and cunning. Sadly, with age, many child sex offenders get even more skilled at picking kids who won’t tell or believed from families that can’t or won’t contact police. So even though they may wear thick glasses, be stoop-shouldered and walk slowly, elderly molesters are just as dangerous, or more so, than younger ones.

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes by Davis will find the courage to speak up and the wisdom to seek independent help from therapists, support groups and law enforcement, not church officials.

When victims, witnesses and whistleblowers stay silent, kids remain at risk. But when victims, witnesses and whistleblowers come forward, at least there’s a chance for prevention, justice, healing and truth-telling.

(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 22 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 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

http://www2.dothaneagle.com/news/2010/dec/08/3/former-geneva-minister-charged-sodomizing-teen-boy-ar-1184058/

Former Geneva minister charged with sodomizing teen boy

By Matt Elofson Published: December 08, 2010

Geneva police arrested a 74-year-old retired minister and charged him with molesting a teenage boy from Florida.

Lt. Ricky Morgan said police arrested Edward Earl Davis and charged him with felony second-degree sodomy. Morgan said the arrest was the result of a month-long investigation into a report of sexual abuse of the teen boy.

“He just basically baited, lured him in and befriended him,” Morgan said. “He met the victim in church. He met him in a church in Holmes County.”

Morgan said deputies with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office in Florida assisted them in their investigation. He also said the alleged sexual abuse acts happened both in Geneva County and in Holmes County. He said in Geneva they happened at Davis’ home over the past year, and as recently as last month.

Geneva County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tony Helms said deputies served the warrant charging Davis with second-degree sodomy after he turned himself in to the Geneva County Jail on Tuesday. Helms said Davis was being held at the Geneva County Jail on a $25,000 bond. Davis faces two to 20 years in prison if convicted of the class B felony crime of second-degree sodomy.

Morgan said Davis retired from serving as a minister of a church in Geneva about five years ago.

Holmes County Sheriff’s Lt. John Tate said an investigator has an open, ongoing investigation into similar allegations in Florida.

“If there are any other victims that do come forward then there definitely would be some potential for some more charges,” Morgan said.


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