DE--Victims applaud DE AG for pursuing Jehovah’s Witnesses
For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 6
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])
We’re thrilled that Delaware officials are prosecuting church staff who claim they have no duty to report known or suspected child sex crimes to police.
A teacher’s aide, Katheryn Harris Carmean White, repeatedly abused a boy. Elders of her church, a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Seaford, reportedly knew of the crimes but told no one. Now, the attorney general’s office is prosecuting them. Thank heavens.
Too often, law enforcement go after those who commit but not those who conceal child sex crimes. This must change.
Little or nothing can deter those who perpetrate crimes against kids. But swift and severe punishment can deter those who enable crimes against kids.
Child molesters are usually sick, compulsively driven individuals. No threat of consequences will likely make them stop. Their employers and colleagues, however, are usually not sick, compulsively driven individuals. Real consequences – like jail terms, expensive fines and public exposure – will likely make them call police when they fear kids are being hurt.
The elders, Joel Mulchansingh and William Perkins, should be ashamed of themselves. We hope they’ll soon be locked up. And we hope this case will prod other timid and self-serving church officials learn that they must stop putting their comfort, careers and congregational reputations above the safety of boys and girls.
(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)