The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Mormon officials kept quiet about sex allegations; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected])
Sadly, in the Mormon church and other denominations, church officials still often try to handle serious criminal matters quietly and internally, calling police only weeks or months later and often only under serious external pressure.
We challenge Mormon officials to go beyond terse, carefully-crafted public relations denials and address allegations of complicity in the most straightforward manner possible.
There are two lessons here. First, those who see, suspect and suffer child sex crimes must report to secular authorities, not church authorities. Second, when church figures suspect or know of child sex crimes, they must immediately dial 911, and not start “circling the wagons.”
(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 23 years and have more than 10,000 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]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])
Mormon Church Denies Prior Knowledge of Susan Brock Affair With Teen Boy, Which is a Lie
By James King, Mon., Apr. 18 2011 @ 9:32AM
The Mormon Church claims it never knew one of its members, 49-year-old Susan Brock, the somewhat-estranged wife of Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock, was sexually abusing a teenage boy before her arrest..
This, according to court documents obtained by New Times, is a lie.
The church issued the following statement amid criticism that it knew of the relationship and didn't report it to police:
"Any allegation that Church leaders knew of abuse but did nothing is inaccurate and offensive. The Church is extremely proactive in its efforts to protect children from abuse of any kind, and works diligently to support and assist victims of abuse. When abuse does occur we work to see that it is reported to the authorities."
In reality, the Church knew of the abuse before the victim's parents were even told -- about two weeks before Brock's arrest -- and never called police.
According to court docs, the relationship was uncovered by the victim's girlfriend, who discovered sex-themed text messages between Brock and the victim on the boy's phone. The girl told her parents, who contacted Susan Brock, as well as her county supervisor husband, to tell them they knew of the abuse.
Rather than call the police, Fulton Brock called his bishop at the Mormon Church, to whom Susan Brock admitted having a sexual relationship with the boy.
When the boy's parents were told of the affair, rather than immediately call police, they also contacted their bishop in the Mormon Church.
As the father of the victim later told police, after meeting with Church leaders, he was "under the impression" cops would be called. But they weren't -- as the boy's father was waiting for Church leaders to alert authorities of the abuse of his teenage son, he figured he'd just call them on his own.
But that wasn't the first time the Mormon Church learned of suspicions that Brock was abusing the boy.
In October 2009, about a year before Susan Brock's arrest, the Brocks and the victim's parents met with leaders in the Mormon Church. The topic of conversation: suspicions that Susan Brock was having sex with the teenage victim.
If we had suspicions that a middle-aged woman was sleeping with our teenage son, our first call is going to be to police -- not our church. Call us crazy.
Nobody called police, though -- not Fulton Brock, not the boy's parents, and not the Mormon Church.
The abuse of the boy continued for a year before police were notified -- and when police were notified, it wasn't by Mormon Church officials.
So when the Mormon Church tries to say that "when abuse does occur we work to see that it is reported to the authorities," just know that, in the words of Senator Jon Kyl, it's probably "not intended to be a factual statement" -- because it's not, it's a lie.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests