TN- Church should reach out to possible victims SNAP says
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A Tennessee youth pastor has been sentenced to 3 years in jail on child pornography charges. We are glad he is going to jail but believe his sentence should have been much stricter.
Joseph Todd Neill was the youth pastor at North Fork Baptist Church prior to him being investigated on a statutory rape charge. Investigators later found violent and graphic child pornography at his home.
We urge North Fork Baptist church officials to immediately reach out to congregants and beg anyone who saw, suspects or suffered crimes by Neill to call police immediately.
We hope any victims suffering in silence and self blame will find the courage to speak up. Children are kept safe when those who know about or suffered crimes call police and share what they know.
(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 25 years and have more than 20,000 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)