|San Diego Press Release
|You are invited
|Sixteen Child Sex Abuse Lawsuits Against Jehovahs Witnesses Are Settled
Largest Deal Ever in Denominations History Includes Controversial Gag Order
One of the Predators is A Fugitive & Was Profiled on Americas Most Wanted
Nation-wide Support Group Blasts Secrecy & Wants To Help Others Who Are Wounded
At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss a child molestation settlement (allegedly in the millions of dollars and the largest-ever) against the Jehovah's Witnesses. All but two of the 16 victims are Californians. One of the predators, a San Diego native, was on Americas Most Wanted.
Theyll also discuss a nationwide outreach effort to find and help more men and women who have been sexually abused by Jehovah's Witness officials.
Thursday, May 10, 1:00 p.m.
Outside the Hall of Justice, 330 West Broadway, in San Diego, CA 92101
Several clergy molestation victims including a Long Beach woman who is the long time western regional director of a nationwide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Over a five day period in February, 16 civil child sex abuse lawsuits against Watchtower (the Jehovahs Witness headquarters in New York City) were quietly settled in three states (CA, TX and OR). The victims involved were essentially coerced into signing gag orders that prevent them from discussing the cases. (Copies of the 16 dismissal notices and of 1-2 of the actual lawsuits will be provided.)
One Jehovahs Witness leader who was sued was long time San Diego resident Rick McLean who was featured on Americas Most Wanted in March. He is suspected of molesting more than 30 children. http://www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=35566 http://www.silentlambs.org/rickmcleanamw.htm
Victims groups and clergy sex abuse attorneys (like Jeff Anderson who has filed 1500 such lawsuits in the past 20+ years) are highly critical of gag orders because they keep the identities of predators secret and make it harder for victims to heal from the devastating effects of childhood trauma.
Attorneys for the victims in these cases are Greg Love and Kimberly Norris of Ft. Worth Texas (817 560 5600). Church officials JR Brown and David Semonian and church lawyers Philip Brumley and Mario Moreno can be reached at 718 560 5600 or 845 306 1100.
The denomination was prompted to settle the cases because of an adverse court ruling last October in California that would require them to turn over deeply-held secret records about abusive Jehovahs Witnesses. http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hamilton/20070125.html
Six years ago, a Kentucky man, William H. Bowen reported to fellow Jehovahs Witness church officials that another elder was in fact a confessed child molester and remains a Jehovahs Witness in good standing to this day. Bowen was then ostracized by fellow church members, went on to start a now 6,000 member support group for those abused and silenced by the Jehovahs Witnesses. That group, SilentLambs.org, now has 6,000 members.
Contact: William H. Bowen of Paducah KY, founder of SilentLambs.org 270-703-2257 cell, 270-527-5350
Mary Grant of Long Beach CA, SNAP western regional director 626-419-2930 cell
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP national director 314-566-9790 cell
DOWNLOADABLE SERVICE BULLETIN CLICK HERE
SEE JPG OF EACH SETTLEMENT HERE
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