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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ex-New Orleans pastor accused of molesting; SNAP responds

Statement by Peter Isely of Milwaukee, national board member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com)

We hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered misdeeds by Pastor Boyd will come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start recovering. If you have information that would either prove or disprove these allegations, it is your moral and civic duty to speak up now.

Regardless of what happens with the pending lawsuit against Boyd, this case should remind us all that sexual predators are often powerful, charismatic and well-loved. It would be comforting if those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance would somehow set off alarm bells and give us ‘the willies’ or ‘the creeps.’ They rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of sexually violating others. At a party, the predator isn’t some oddball sitting alone in a corner because others feel uncomfortable with him. Most often, the predator is the guy throwing the party.

We must overcome the dangerous myth that because someone is successful or warm or caring, he or she “couldn’t have done that!”

(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 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://www.clarionledger.com/article/20110323/NEWS/103230336/Pastor-s-attorney-Suit-has-no-merit?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CHome%7Cs

Pastor's attorney: Suit has no merit

Clergyman alleged to have coerced boy into sexual relations

10:40 PM, Mar. 22, 2011 - Written by Jimmie E. Gates, jgates@clarionledger.com

An attorney for a Jackson pastor accused in a lawsuit of coercing a young male church member into a sexual relationship says the lawsuit has no merits and the accuser is only seeking his 15 minutes of fame.

Kevin Joseph Boyd Sr., senior pastor of The Apostolic Church, 1735 Shady Lane Drive, is responding to the lawsuit filed against him in Hinds County Circuit Court in October. Boyd also operates a church in New Orleans.

"The bishop vehemently denies the allegations of sex abuse and looks forward to his day in court to clear his good name," said Boyd's attorney, Carlos Moore of Grenada. "I have not seen one shred of evidence to substantiate any of the allegations against my client."

The claims in the lawsuit are similar to allegations leveled against Atlanta mega-church pastor Bishop Eddie Long by four young men.

Moore said he believes the lawsuit is a copycat of the Bishop Eddie Long lawsuit.

The Clarion-Ledger does not use the names of persons alleging sexual abuse.

Winston Thompson, attorney for the man who filed the lawsuit, said Tuesday he expected Boyd to deny the allegations.

Thompson has said his client's interaction with Boyd began at age 12 in New Orleans, where both were living. Both ended up in Jackson after Hurricane Katrina.

"Defendant Boyd has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship," according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff, now 23 and married, is asking a jury to decide on damages on claims, including breach of fiduciary duties, fraud and negligence.

The male church member sang in the choir and played drums, according to the lawsuit. At Boyd's request, he said, he would go to the pastor's office on Sundays after church.

"Defendant Boyd would discuss the holy Scripture to justify and support the sexual activity," the lawsuit says.

The plaintiff alleges the sexual relationship escalated from touching and occurred off church grounds, including at a local motel. Boyd allegedly would travel to Jackson "to engage in sexual relations" with the plaintiff. By 2009, the plaintiff said he started to distance himself from Boyd and became engaged to the woman who is now his wife.

In June 2010, the plaintiff informed a senior pastor of the church of Boyd's alleged sexual abuse, according to the lawsuit.

When The Clarion-Ledger called Boyd's New Orleans home seeking a response to the lawsuit last year, a woman answering the phone said then they were familiar with the lawsuit and had no comment.

To comment on this story, call Jimmie E. Gates at (601) 961-7212.


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