OH--Group hopes state damages cap is lifted in abuse cases

For immediate release: Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015

Statement by Claudia Vercellotti of Toledo SNAP (419-345-9291[email protected])

Next week, the Ohio Supreme Court will have a chance to lift Ohio’s unwise cap on damages for victims of horrific child sex crimes. We hope the justices will side with innocent, vulnerable kids and deeply wounded adults over institutional wrongdoers.


Financial penalties deter wrongdoing. It’s just that simple. That’s why we support the effort to lift the cap on damages. As a society, we must encourage, not discourage, victims of sexual violence to come forward, seek justice, and expose and punish those who commit or conceal child sex crimes.

It’s absurd and disingenuous for business lobby groups to claim that the clergy sex abuse and cover up case involved here is an “outlier.” Thousands of boys and girls are sexually violated every year in Ohio. Many of these crimes happen in schools, churches, camps and day care centers where officials know or should know how to prevent this horror.

But when these officials act recklessly or callously, they must be held responsible. That’s what jury awards do. And these awards make other employers and co-workers start behaving more responsibly when they see or suspect child sex crimes.

We applaud the courage of Jessica Simpkins, who was 15 years old when she was raped by her pastor, Rev. Brian Williams, at Grace Brethren Church in Sunbury. (Williams went to prison.) We are grateful she exposed wrongdoing at this church and that a jury sent a strong pro-child, anti-abuse signal. We hope that Ohio’s Supreme Court will send an equally strong signal to those who might be tempted to ignore, hide, minimize or even enable similar crimes in the future.

(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)

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


Ohio court case seeks to increase amount of money child sex abuse victims can receive

By Ted Hart, Published: December 9, 2015, 7:10 pm  Updated: December 9, 2015, 10:20 pm

SUNBURY, Ohio (WCMH)–The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in a case that challenges the constitutionality of the Ohio law that limits compensation for childhood victims of sexual abuse.

At the center of the case is Jessica Simpkins, who was 15 years old when  . . . 

Read full article here

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