VA- Minister guilty of abuse should be locked up for long time
For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014
Statement by Becky Ianni, Virginia director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (703 801 6044, SNAPvirgania@cox.net)
We urge a Virginia judge to give the maximum sentence to a minister who was just found guilty of child sex crimes. Kids are safest when child molesters are imprisoned. It’s not about punishment, it’s about prevention. It’s not about vengeance, it’s about prudence.
Yesterday, a jury found Rev. Larry McKinley Clark of Pentecostal Outreach Church of Buena Vista guilty on all counts. We applaud police and prosecutors for successfully pursuing this predator. Above all, however, we applaud the courageous family that cooperated with them to make others safer.
We cannot say this often or loudly enough: this brave teen and his family heroes for exposing wrongdoing and protecting others. Though they have a long, hard road ahead, we are confident that this outcome will help them in their recovery.
We hope and believe this outcome will prod others who have been hurt by ministers, priests, nuns, deacons, seminarians and other church employees to get help, come forward, expose wrongdoers and protect kids.
(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.