Abuse victims presser MONDAY 11:15 am (4/15) in Jeff City MO

Victims beg MO AG to intervene in growing scandal

Four Christian boarding schools now face abuse reports

SNAP to Bailey: “Investigate, warn parents & prod local prosecutors

Group also asks lawmakers to reform MO's 'predator-friendly statute of limitations'

At a sidewalk news conference - with signs and childhood photos - child sex abuse victims and their supporters will

--hand-deliver a letter to Missouri's attorney general – signed by seven victims - urging him to investigate and warn the public about recent reports of abuse at largely unregulated ‘faith-based’ boarding schools in Missouri,

--urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse there to come forward, and

--beg lawmakers to reform Missouri’s ‘archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly’ statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.

They will also testify at a legislative hearing in the afternoon and ask legislators to reform outdated child safety laws and give more abuse victims the chance to expose their predators in court.

Monday, April 15 at 11:15 a.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Missouri Attorney General's office, 207 W. High Street (between Broadway and Washington) in Jefferson City

A Protestant whistleblower, an attorney, and a St. Louis child sex abuse victim who for 30 years headed SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

1) In recent years, at least four abuse and cover up scandals have surfaced at church reformatory boarding schools in remote parts of Missouri. Dozens of such ‘under the radar’ facilities have quietly moved to or opened across the state, in part to avoid regulatory oversight. SNAP suspects that child predators are drawn to these institutions and many operators ignore or hide child sex crimes to boost profits, maintain enrollments, and avoid public scandals.

The group wants Attorney General Andrew Bailey to warn parents about them, open an investigation into them, and urge local prosecutors to do likewise.

2) Also on Monday, at 2pm, the group – and other survivors and allies – will testify before a legislative panel that may make it much easier for victims of child sexual abuse to expose wrongdoers in court by dramatically expanding the statute of limitations on such crimes.

One measure would open a civil ‘window,’ enabling victims to file suits against those who commit or conceal child molestation no matter when the crimes happened. Two dozen states, mostly in recent years, have enacted similar ‘windows’ (including Arkansas, Louisiana, Georgia and Maryland).



A short summary of the boarding/reform school controversy is here: https://www.news-leader.com/story/opinion/2024/04/07/missouri-boarding-school-abuses-must-be-prosecuted/73181866007/

--This year alone, in Piedmont MO, three staffers at Lighthouse Christian Academy (a.k.a. ABM Ministries) have been arrested for alleged crimes against children, the academy was shuttered, and 19 kids were sent to their homes.


--Last fall, a mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Agape School in Stockton (also now shuttered) on behalf of her son who was reportedly repeatedly violated at the facility.


--In 2020, Circle of Hope Girls’ Ranch in Humansville was closed amid an investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and abuse lawsuits by ex-students. At least 24 youngsters were removed by local child protective services.


--At Kanakuk Kamps near Branson (one of the largest Christian camps in the US), an ex-employee pleaded guilty to child sex charges and may have victimized hundreds of kids. Legal records suggest that by 1999 or 2000, camp officials “knew or should have known” that he was sexually abusing children. In the years before and after his arrest, six other Kanakuk staffers have been convicted of child sex crimes.




David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected], Douglas Lay 314 646 9316

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