WI--Minister arrested on child sex charges; Victims respond
For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, [email protected])
A Hale’s Corner minister has been arrested on child sex charges. We are glad that he’s been caught but we’re disappointed in how his supervisors and colleagues are responding. We call on them to work aggressively to help law enforcement prosecute the offender and find - and help – any other victims.
Rev. Thomas Jonathan Chantry of Christ Reformed Baptist Church allegedly molested five kids between 1995 and 2001 in Arizona. But not is not the time for complacency. An arrest is not a conviction. Many times, we see shrewd predators get expensive lawyers and exploit technicalities, escaping convictions or long sentences. Then, sometimes the assault more kids.
So we call on Chantry’s current and former church supervisors, colleagues and members in Wisconsin and Arizona to use pulpit announcements, bulletin notices and church mailings to help law enforcement prosecute Rev. Chantry and seek out – and help – others he may have hurt.
These churches gave Chantry access to kids. So their civic and moral duty doesn’t end with his arrest. They must help put him behind bars and help ameliorate the severe harm he’s caused.
Ministers call themselves “shepherds.” In cases like this, a caring shepherd this admits there are likely other “lost sheep” out there, suffering in silence, shame and self-blame. He or she would use every possible method of reaching out to them – church signs, bulletins, mailings and pulpit announcements. Instead, most ministers do little but focus on protecting themselves from criticism and litigation. We hope this doesn’t happen here.
(Chantry reportedly is a well-known Reformed Baptist pastor, according to Brent Detwiler, a brave man who has publicly expose the cover up of child sexual abuse in Sovereign Grace Ministries. He has attacked Detwiler because of Detwiler’s courageous advocacy.)
No matter what courts or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in institutions – especially in churches – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted 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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])
Former Prescott pastor charged with child molestation
By Scott Orr Originally Published: November 26, 2016
PRESCOTT – A minister in the Baptist church, who left the area 10 years ago, has been indicted on multiple counts accusing him of sexually molesting children in 1995, 1996, and 1998 to 2001 while he was pastor of a church in Prescott.
Thomas Jonathan Chantry, 46, faces five counts of molestation of a child, related to two minors, and three counts of aggravated assault on three separate minors as well.
One alleged victim, now an adult, came forward to Prescott Police and, according to a police report, when Chantry became a pastor at Miller Valley Baptist Church, Chantry told . . .
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