WA- Clergy sex abuse trial starts today, victims respond
For immediate release: Monday, March 10, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A clergy sex abuse trial in the Diocese of Yakima has started today. We are grateful that this predator is facing criminal charges in a court of law.
We hope the victim finds courage during this difficult time and we are grateful that he found the strength to report his abuse. The predator, who was studying to become a priest, fled the Zillah church where the abuse took place after the abuse allegations were reported. He then fled to Mexico and has not been located.
We urge Bishop Joseph J. Tyson to seek out any other victims that may have been hurt by this priest in training and to disclose any information they have on him or his whereabouts.
It is always extremely worrisome when a predator flees justice and especially when he goes to a country that doesn’t have a strong system of child protection. We hope anyone who suffered, witnessed of suspects abuse or knows where this predator is will report to police.
(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 15,000 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.