Washington D.C.--Victims blast Hastert “apology”
For immediate release: Thursday, April 7, 2016
We believe prison time for Dennis Hastert is appropriate and his so-called ‘apology’ is not.
A criminal who breaks the law once often deserves leniency. A young person who impulsively shoplifts on a dare or vandalizes once when drunk should be given a break, especially if they break the law once.
But Hastert did wrong in two ways: he sexually assaulted kids and he illegally moved hush money. We suspect he broke the law dozens of times, repeatedly using his power and status as a trusted teacher and coach to sexually violate youngsters.
And Hastert has had months to find the courage to admit his crimes. But he adamantly refuses, opting instead for the sanitizing and inaccurate word “misconduct.”
“Misconduct” is eating a sandwich on a crowded bus or cursing in front of children. Sexually assaulting children is not “misconduct,” it’s a horrific, life-altering crime. The repeated raping and fondling a youngster are not “harmful incidents.” Again, these are crimes, heinous betrayals of trust that cause suicide, agoraphobic, addictions, eating disorders and deep shattering of self-esteem. No one, least of all a child molester, should get by adding more pain to his already suffering victims by minimizing the devastation he’s caused.
In light of Hastert’s stubborn and self-serving refusal to be honest, and to deter more hurtful remarks like this in the future, we urge the judge to consider a longer sentence than the six month deal that’s been proposed.
We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(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 SNAPnetwork.org)