MO--Victims praise authorities in fake kidnapping case

For immediate release: Friday, Feb. 6

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,,

There’s an encouraging aspect of the horrific Troy fake kidnapping case that’s worth noting: the system worked.    

Within 48 hours of hearing this poor boy’s traumatic account, school officials, police and prosecutors leaped into action, arresting and charging four adults for this awful crime.

The boy spoke up. School staff believed him. They called police. Police investigated. Prosecutors charged. Wrongdoers were exposed. And a victim was validated and protected.

Time and time again, we hear about the cases where the system does not work. Kids can’t disclose horror. If they do, then the adults don’t listen. Or the adults disbelieve them. Or the adults do nothing. Or the adults say “Just let it go.” Or the adults try to “handle” the crimes quietly or internally. Or law enforcement moves slowly.

Then, we’re stunned to read the horrific headlines about a young, tragic and preventable death or another devastating sex crime against a child.

So let’s remember that often, the system works. And we should express our gratitude to the authorities who acted quickly and successfully in this dreadful case.

Finally, let’s do all we can to debunk the “stranger danger” myth. The overwhelming majority of kids who are sexually or physically violated are hurt by adults they know, love and trust. We must help parents understand that they should focus primarily on being careful around Uncle Bill, Pastor Steven, and Coach Bob, rather than around complete strangers.

(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,, Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003,, Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747,  

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