TX- Two churches sued for negligence, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, October 3, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (314-566-9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Parents of a girl who was groomed by a former youth pastor are suing two Texas churches. We applaud the bravery of these parents for seeking justice and exposing wrongdoers.
According to the suit , officials at the two Houston churches - Second Baptist Church and Community of Faith Church- were negligent in their supervision of Chad Foster. Foster was part of a recruitment scheme that allowed him into schools to recruit children into the church. It is there that he met a young girl and began to sexually assault her.
Foster plead guilty to the charges and in 2013 was sentenced to five years behind bars.
We urge church officials at Second Baptist and Community of Faith to reach out to anyone else who may have been hurt by Foster. They should also make immediate changes to their child protection policies to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.
We hope anyone who saw, suspects or suffered abuse will speak up, call secular officials, and start healing.
(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)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.