OR- New lawsuit claims church knew about molester, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected])
Two Oregonian men have filed a lawsuit against the Seventh-day Adventist Church for allowing a convicted child molester to run a church sponsored youth club. We are grateful to these brave survivors for stepping up.
Leslie “Les” Bovee was hired as the leader of the Pathfinder Club, which is a Seventh-day Adventist Church sponsored youth group in Multnomah County, despite having spent two years in prison for abusing at least one boy. Church officials should be held responsible for allowing a convicted abuser to – not only be around children – but to be in a position of authority.
We urge church officials to explain how Bovee was able to get a job as a youth leader and publically change their employment policies to ensure child safety. We also urge officials to reach out to anyone else who might be suffering in silence and self blame.
We hope this lawsuit will encourage other officials working with children to do their due diligence when hiring youth workers and we hope it encourages others who saw, suspect, or suffered child sex crimes to come forward, report to secular officials, and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years 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 SNAPnetwork.org)