Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims and supporters to leaflet outside Fairfax church

They seek others hurt by child molesting former pastor

Former pastor just pled guilty to sexually abusing two boys

Groups urge anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” crimes to get help

They beg parents to ask loved ones “Did this cleric (or others) ever hurt you?”

WHAT: As parishioners leave Sunday service, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will hand out fliers about a former pastor who recently pleaded guilty to “taking indecent liberties with two minors.” The leaflets will urge:

  • churchgoers to talk to their children about the cleric and sexual abuse,
  • current pastor to use church bulletins and other means to prod victims to come forward &
  • anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his misdeeds to come forward and get help.

WHEN: Sunday, November 21 at 11:45 a. m.

WHERE: Outside Community Church of God, 2500 Gallows Road, Dunn Loring, Virginia

WHO: Three-four individuals who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( and/or a Catholic lay reform group called VOTF (Voice of the Faithful)

WHY: In March, Tommy R Shelton Jr was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and two counts of sodomy.

From 1995-2000, Shelton was a pastor at Community Church of God in Dunn Loring, Virginia.

Shelton pled guilty in July to two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child under his supervision as part of a plea deal. This past Monday a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge rejected the plea deal.

According to the November 15th, Washington Post, Judge Bellows said "there's no expression of remorse. This submission doesn't even acknowledge that he committed the offense... I've got a plea to two very serious charges, that involves no jail time. And on top of it, I've got a defendant that's expressing no remorse, and I've got victims that are willing to participate in the litigation. I'm trying to understand why I would accept this agreement."

The case is scheduled to go to the Grand Jury on December 21.

SNAP believes there may be other victims of Shelton here in Virginia as well as in Illinois that haven’t come forward yet.

Shelton previously worked at Ezra Community of God Church in West Frankfort in southern Illinois.

The victims are being represented by Attorney Michael Reck, 714-742-6593, [email protected]

CONTACT: Becky Ianni 703-801-6044, [email protected], David Clohessy 314-566-9790 [email protected], Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747, [email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests