LA--Lawmakers & prosecutors must do more in New Bethany child sex case

For immediate release: Thursday, Jan. 8

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, [email protected] )

Now that child sex crimes at the New Bethany Home for Girls in Louisiana won’t be pursued, legislators, prosecutors and others must step up to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.  

Specifically, we beg Bienville Parish District Attorney Jonathan Stewart (and prosecutors in nearby parishes) to use his bully pulpit and his resources to launch an aggressive outreach effort to find anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Mack W. Ford of Arcadia

We also beg Louisiana lawmakers to 1) pass legislation that would compensate these brave, wounded women and 2) make it harder for child molesters to exploit legal technicalities in the future. There should be no statute of limitations on child sex crimes, civil or criminal.

Finally, we beg New Bethany victims to keep fighting. Some of the crimes happened outside of Louisiana. So we hope victims who were abused elsewhere contact law enforcement in those jurisdictions about possible criminal charges there under different state laws. And we urge them to also prod legislators to pass bills that help victims and punish wrongdoers.

Our hearts ache for Simone Jones, Jennifer Halter and all those who were assaulted by Ford. These are incredibly brave and resilient and caring women who deserve respect, gratitude, compensation and healing. They have done more than 99% of child sex abuse victims, most of whom remain trapped in shame and secrecy for decades, and sometimes for their entire lives.

We hope they will take some comfort in knowing that they have helped expose a dangerous child predator, an inadequate justice system and dreadfully outdated and harmful state laws about children’s safety

(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

Contact - David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003, [email protected], Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, [email protected]



Showing 2 comments

  • Iain Pattison
    commented 2015-01-11 20:09:01 -0600
    This case is one of the more depraved ones. Most of the cases you read about on this website are depraved but this one is particularly depraved, partly because of the poor behaviour of the prosecutors. What also makes it worse is that there was also physical abuse at New Bethany Home for Girls in Louisiana. It’s about time the statute of limitations for child abuse is removed in all USA states.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2015-01-08 12:25:17 -0600
    LA--Lawmakers & prosecutors must do more in New Bethany child sex case

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