TN--Victims urge “outreach” in church abuse case

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 4

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,,

We applaud law enforcement personnel for catching an abusive minister who fled overseas and hope the alleged criminal’s church colleagues will aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes.

Luke Cooke was charged in 2007 with raping an 8-year-old and a 16-year-old. Cooke then went to China, Morocco and Albania where he was captured.

There’s a clear lesson here: If you were sexually assaulted, justice healing and prevention are possible. The first step is calling the independent, unbiased, experienced professionals in law enforcement.

Many churches profess to be “shepherds.” But in child sex cases, they often ignore the wounded sheep who often suffer in shame, isolation, confusion and self-blame.

So we call on law enforcement to spread the word far and wide about where Cooke committed his crimes. We urge them to investigate Cooke’s church colleagues and supervisors, and file charges if any of them concealed his crimes. And we urge every single current or former member or staff at Cooke’s church to do all they can to seek out and help others who were assaulted by him.

(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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,, Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,


Fmr. youth pastor extradited to TN after years of running from child rape indictment

 Sep 04, 2015 5:42 AM CDT, By StaffCONNECT - MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A former youth minister charged with rape was extradited to Shelby County on Thursday.

Luke Cooke was indicted on rape and aggravated sexual battery charges in 2007. Shelby County investigators said Cooke raped an 8-year-old and a 16-year-old.

Cooke then left the country. He was  . . .

Read full article here 

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