CA--In light of Cosby case, victims of other predators should sue & report
For immediate release: Sunday, Dec. 7
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, firstname.lastname@example.org)
One clear lesson has already emerged from the roiling Bill Cosby scandal: more child sex abuse victims should take – or at least explore - legal action against their predators, even if the crimes happened decades ago.
--Because of Judy Huth’s courageous civil lawsuit against, which shows that sometimes, suits against child molesters are possible even years later, and
--Because of the LAPD’s urging that others hurt by Cosby, no matter when the crimes happened, should report them.
We applaud Ms. Huth for her decision to both file a civil suit and file a formal police report. Both are brave, responsible moves. Both should inspire other who saw, suspected and suffered sexual violence – at any time by any predator – to speak up, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect others, deter cover ups and start healing.
In the 25 years our group has been around, time and time again we’ve been reminded that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” We’ve seen police, prosecutors, judges and juries – when facing dozens of accusers and public pressure – often find a way to nail those who commit and conceal sex crimes.
Our job, as victims, witnesses and whistleblowers, is to tell the truth to those who can expose predators: cops, district attorneys or civil lawyers. It’s the job of these professionals to figure out how exactly to do that. They can’t do their jobs unless we do ours.
Many doubt that Cosby will ever see the inside of a courtroom, much less a jail. That can be a self-fulfilling prophesy. Remember: Al Capone was nailed on income tax evasion. And remember: Fr. James Porter of Massachusetts became one of the first and most notorious serial child molesting clerics to be prosecuted – decades after his crimes – only after more than 100 of his victims kept stepping forward and pressuring authorities.
Now that Cosby has been thoroughly discredited, it’s tempting for those with knowledge of his crimes to stay silent. “Everyone now knows he’s a rapist,” some assume. “And it will be hard for him to find other vulnerable victims now,” some feel. But even if this is true, this isn’t enough. Women and girls will be safer if he is prosecuted and sued and convicted and imprisoned.
So all of us must fight complacency, stay vigilant and speak up – not just about Cosby, but about any and every proven, admitted and credibly accused sex offender.
Please, if you were hurt by Bill Cosby, find the courage and strength to call police, prosecutors, lawyers or loved ones. If you can’t, please at least seek out a therapist. Above all, please don’t stay trapped in silence, shame or self-blame.
(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)