WI--Minister arrested on child sex charges; Victims respond
For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016
A Hale’s Corner minister has been arrested on child sex charges. We are glad that he’s been caught but we’re disappointed in how his supervisors and colleagues are responding. We call on them to work aggressively to help law enforcement prosecute the offender and find - and help – any other victims.
Rev. Thomas Jonathan Chantry of Christ Reformed Baptist Church allegedly molested five kids between 1995 and 2001 in Arizona. But not is not the time for complacency. An arrest is not a conviction. Many times, we see shrewd predators get expensive lawyers and exploit technicalities, escaping convictions or long sentences. Then, sometimes the assault more kids.
So we call on Chantry’s current and former church supervisors, colleagues and members in Wisconsin and Arizona to use pulpit announcements, bulletin notices and church mailings to help law enforcement prosecute Rev. Chantry and seek out – and help – others he may have hurt.
These churches gave Chantry access to kids. So their civic and moral duty doesn’t end with his arrest. They must help put him behind bars and help ameliorate the severe harm he’s caused.
Ministers call themselves “shepherds.” In cases like this, a caring shepherd this admits there are likely other “lost sheep” out there, suffering in silence, shame and self-blame. He or she would use every possible method of reaching out to them – church signs, bulletins, mailings and pulpit announcements. Instead, most ministers do little but focus on protecting themselves from criticism and litigation. We hope this doesn’t happen here.
(Chantry reportedly is a well-known Reformed Baptist pastor, according to Brent Detwiler, a brave man who has publicly expose the cover up of child sexual abuse in Sovereign Grace Ministries. He has attacked Detwiler because of Detwiler’s courageous advocacy.)
No matter what courts or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in institutions – especially in churches – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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)
Former Prescott pastor charged with child molestation
By Scott Orr Originally Published: November 26, 2016
PRESCOTT – A minister in the Baptist church, who left the area 10 years ago, has been indicted on multiple counts accusing him of sexually molesting children in 1995, 1996, and 1998 to 2001 while he was pastor of a church in Prescott.
Thomas Jonathan Chantry, 46, faces five counts of molestation of a child, related to two minors, and three counts of aggravated assault on three separate minors as well.
One alleged victim, now an adult, came forward to Prescott Police and, according to a police report, when Chantry became a pastor at Miller Valley Baptist Church, Chantry told . . .
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.
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.