WV--Victims want more outreach in WV Presbyterian child sex case
For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 11
We’re sad that a youth minister has apparently molested another child. Now that victims are cooperating and law enforcement is taking action, it’s crucial that West Virginia Presbyterian officials work harder to find other who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Timothy Probert.
We especially call on Westminster Presbyterian Pastor Jonathan Rockness to more aggressively seek out other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers and get them to call police and prosecutors. We’re glad Rockness apparently called police initially. But he and his staff and his flock can and should do more. They should issue a public call to anyone who may have information or suspicions about Probert to step forward. And they should make calls and send letters to former congregants who may have left the church because of Probert.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 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.