WV- Pastor pleads not guilty to credible sex abuse charges
Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director, 314-862-7688 SNAPdorris@gmail.com
For immediate release August 6, 2013
A 14-year-old girl reported to police in April that the pastor, who also worked at Kanawha County Schools, had inappropriately touched her.
Johnnie Franklin Winnell, a pastor at United Gospel Mission in Charleston, who had previously admitted to authorities that he touched the girl three times, pleaded guilty yesterday at his arraignment.
We urge anyone that may have been harmed by Winnell or may have additional information to report what they know to authorities. Experience suggests that often these offenses are not isolated. Any information about this predator will help to insure he is put in jail, safely away from children.
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.