Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Another man connected with church is arrested

Like 5 others, he too is charged with committing child sex crimes

Independence-based church ‘priest’ sought by Vermont authorities

He was in Blue Springs congregation, now in jail in DeKalb County MO

SNAP begs anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” sexual abuse to “speak up”

Clergy sex abuse support group urges victims to contact law enforcement, not the church

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, 2 clergy sex abuse victims will
-- disclose that another priest in a controversial Independence MO-based church has been arrested on child sex abuse charges,
-- prod others who may have been abused to step forward so they can begin to heal,
-- urge anyone with information or suspicions about the men to speak up promptly, and
--beg anyone who has been harmed to contact law enforcement

Monday, November 23, 1:30 p.m.

Outside the Independence Central Police Building, 223 N. Memorial Drive (corner of Truman & N Memorial ) in Independence

Two clergy abuse victims who belong to a national support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (

SNAP has learned that a former Blue Springs man, Paul Cool, is behind bars now, having been arrested late last week by the De Kalb county sheriff on child sex charges. Like several other alleged child molesters who were recently arrested, Cool was associated with the Community of Christ. The men, who were recently arrested in Lafayette County on multiple charges of forcible sodomy and rape, at least six victims of these men have come forward and described the horrific childhood abuse they suffered. Authorities believe there is a "strong possibility" of more victims

Cool was recently baptized and ordained an elder in the Vermont Mormon Church.

Cool moved to Vermont in 2005. At least one of Cool’s victims was abused in Missouri. Detective Trooper Megan Sheridan of the Vermont State Police in Bethel, VT (802-234-9933) is handling the case. Cool also spent some time in Montana in recent years.

Though the men allegedly molested relatives, it’s likely, SNAP feels, that they also molested children of fellow church members. So it’s the duty of church officials to do all they can to help find other victims and witnesses so the police can investigate quickly and thoroughly, SNAP believes.

The Independence-based Community of Christ, which split from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1860 and was known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints until 2001. According to news accounts, even while church officials were denying the men had "leadership roles," the officials also claimed the men's priesthood licenses were suspended.)

SNAP believes some people with information about the alleged crimes, whether victims or witnesses, may be uncomfortable calling law enforcement. The group will urge anyone with suspicions or knowledge of these men’s crimes to call SOMEONE a therapist, friend, support group, anyone so that they can get help and so that the wrongdoers can be prosecuted.

Judy Jones 636-433-2511, David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 503 0003 cell

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests