VA- Pastor's wife gets light sentence in abuse case; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected]om)

We are appalled that a pastor's wife has been sentenced to just 10 days in jail for her involvement in a child sexual abuse case.

In many ways, those who hide child sex crimes are as culpable or perhaps even more culpable than those who commit them. Child molesters are usually sick, driven, compulsive people who have often endured some kind of horrific childhood trauma themselves. But those who are related to or work with child molesters usually are not. They make a calculated choice to protect wrongdoers and endanger kids by not calling the police when they know about or suspect child sexual abuse. They should be severely punished.

“Throwing the book” at people who help predators hurt kids is one of the best ways to stop future child sex crimes and deter future child sex cover ups. We are deeply disappointed in the light sentence this woman has received and hope that Virginia law enforcement officials will do better next time.

(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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Becky Ianni of northern Virginia (703 801 6044, [email protected])



Showing 1 comment

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant