ID--Abuse victim sues Mennonites; Support group responds

For immediate release, February 12, 2016

Statement by Barbra Graber, Leader of the Anabaptist Mennonite Chapter of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (

Our hearts go out to Clayton Peaster and his family, and anyone else who may have been hurt by any Mennonite predator. We applaud Mr. Peaster for his courage and we hope his seeking justice will protect others and bring healing.

We urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered sexual violence, either as a child or an adult, to come forward, get help, protect others, deter cover ups, start healing and expose those who commit or conceal assaults on the innocent and vulnerable. We especially urge them to contact independent sources of help, like therapists, police, prosecutors and support groups like ours. Sadly, calling church officials often leads to more pain and secrecy, not less.

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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,, Barbara Blaine (


Man sues Mennonite church over alleged abuse

Alleges adoptive father molested him, church officials failed to notify authorities

Posted: Friday, February 12, 2016 12:00 am - JEFF SELLE/Staff Writer | 0 comments

COEUR d’ALENE — A lawsuit filed Wednesday claims a child was sexually abused by his father, while leaders of a Mennonite church in Bonners Ferry failed to protect the boy.

The lawsuit was filed late Wednesday by attorneys with the Coeur d'Alene firm of James, Vernon and Weeks. It states Clayton Peaster was 11 when the alleged molestation occurred. He is now 27.

The defendants named in the suit are Mt. View Mennonite Church, Inc., the National Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, and Clayton’s adoptive parents, David Peaster and his wife, Cynthia Peaster.

During a press conference held Thursday at the firm’s office, Clayton’s attorney, Craig Vernon, said the child was adopted by the Peasters who both belonged to Mt. View Mennonite Church. The Kansas-based Church of God in Christ Mennonite, commonly known as the Holdeman Mennonites, is the parent organization of Mt. View.

Vernon went over details of the suit, which alleges  . . .

Read full article here

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Secured Via NationBuilder

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant