Episcopal Priest in MA Pleads Guilty as Diocese Reveals Allegation of Abuse Against Him
A priest from the Episcopal Church in Western Massachusetts pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on the same day that Church officials revealed they “received devastating credible evidence” that the cleric had sexually abused a teenager. We hope that these allegations can be prosecuted and that another probably dangerous child abuser will be put behind bars where he belongs.
Now that the crimes committed by Rev. George Lisby have been made public, we call on the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and Bishop Douglas Fisher to use all the resources at their disposal to ensure that no other victims of Fr. Lisby – or any priest – are suffering in silence. Episcopal leaders should take steps to vet Rev. Lisby’s work history, ensuring that every single parish community where he spent time is informed of these allegations. Pulpit announcements should be made in each and every location encouraging any victims or witnesses to come forward and make a report to police. Bishop Fisher and his staff should also be very clear about when they first received the allegation of sexual abuse and what they did in response to receiving that report.
We applaud the FBI and other members of law enforcement who investigated this crime and brought justice to the victims. Child pornography is an especially damaging crime because the images can live on the internet forever, so we are fully grateful for efforts to find the producers and sharers and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. We hope that Rev. Lisby will receive the harshest possible sentence and that other survivors will be empowered to come forward, make a report, and began healing.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)