This is a blog regarding an article that appeared in the Ark. Democrat – Gazette, Thurs. August 16, entitled “Cover-up tactics detailed in report: grand jury lists methods that hid church’s sex-abuse cases.”
I don’t know how many of you have been following the many stories about the grand jury report investigated by the AG of Pennsylvania after 18 months, but I pray that you haven’t been desensitized by how often abuse now fills the media and reporting. If you believe the media is overflowing with reports of sexual abuse, consider for a moment that each and every allegation is TRUE then try to fathom the number of unreported claims of sexual abuse. It’s everywhere, no more today than before, we are simply in the day and time that victims are coming together, standing in solidarity, to find not only a solution but validation. What marks the newest claims as different is that they reflect child grooming and molestation on a huge scale, and after gaining access to 500,000 pages of documents, something sinister was uncovered.
Not only did these mandatory reporters use tactics to hide abuse, but they urged church members to never tell the police. The AG and his team said, “It’s like a playbook for concealing the truth,” and that truth is that literally hundreds of pedophiles were using the church to groom, exploit, and abuse. It is the same story we are seeing with the Boy Scouts, who kept records of tens of thousands of pedophiles who used their institution and structure in a way that weaponized their leadership positions. One of the Cardinals went on to call it a “terrible plague” of abuse, yet even he is accused of helping to protect those identified as “abusive priests.”
Can you imagine yourself seeking to confess your sins to these powerful men, appointed agents of our God, only to have them use your confessions, vulnerabilities, and life trauma as a tool to manipulate? Already the report and coverage by the media has caused victims to finally believe that someone is now willing to hear and believe. Please, if you have been abused by a priest, volunteer with the church, Boy Scout leader sponsored by the church, or any person that has abused you, call the State Hot Line (1-800-843-6349). Report the abuse and keep reporting it until someone investigates your situation because, as you know from the Hogan case and my own, sometimes these abusers have influence in high places.
The article goes on to point out that a former Pennsylvania prosecutor was fired from his job as an attorney for a county youth services office after the report showed that, as Beaver County’s elected district attorney in the 1960s, he stopped an investigation into alleged child abuse by a priest to gain political favor from the Pittsburgh Diocese. Yes, that was a long time ago, but the years do not dilute the poisonous and malicious inaction carried out by public elected officials that chose favor over facts.
One need only look at the case against Charles “Jack” Walls III in Lonoke, Arkansas in the early 90s to witness the same prosecutor misconduct that should turn every elected prosecutor’s stomach. In that case, Larry Cook stopped an investigation into a pedophile using the Boy Scouts the same way these priests are using the church. When Doug Hogan came forward with his father, seeking to protect us all and expose the predator, Larry Cook and those in his office did all in their power to protect his mentor’s pedophile son. Not only the prosecutor’s office but Ken Murphy of the Arkansas Department of Human Services also refused to indulge Mr. Hogan with an investigation. Judge Charles Walls II was a powerful and intelligent man, having groomed and guided the political career of those that even today fill positions of power in that county.
How do we know that Jack Walls was protected, you ask. I refer you to the documents we are sharing to prove what we suggest. Prosecutors allowing political favor to guide their interpretation of the law and investigation of certain individuals violates constitutional rights and ethical obligations as civic officials. After all, if church leaders suppress and the prosecutors suppress, then what hope do we as victims have in trying to become survivors free from mental torture, manipulation, and our very being slowly dissolved by trauma?
It is my current hope that the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime will review what we have collected as well, and see if there aren’t church officials, political officials, and un-investigated predators that violated children under the enabling and empowering watch of Lonoke County’s finest.
Did not Larry Cook choose to have Jack investigated for false imprisonment, knowing that the facts reported would not support such a charge?
Did Judge Walls, in his infinite wisdom help him come up with that strategy as he got an outside attorney to draft the charges against me?
You see, they know the law, what words to use, what not to say, and the prosecutor is the one that guides those investigating officers. One might even conclude that Larry Cook simply made a mistake, but he followed that up by undermining the Hogan family’s second try at justice in municipal court as well. Not only were the charges dropped against Jack, but he was allowed copies of the victims’ statements that enabled him to confront, intimidate, and cause boys to redact damaging information before the second investigation began. Go ahead, ask me how I know.
It is my hope that you become as offended and enraged at the injustice as the victims of the predator and begin asking the kinds of questions that those in PA have now gotten the answers to. What I wish for you and all those in Arkansas that were victimized by prosecutor misconduct that enabled the rapes of boys, is for you to know exactly who empowered him. Just as the church is now reeling as Bishops and Cardinals are being brought down, my prayer is that as a state we too seek to end the use of institutions for predator grooming and abuse. We don’t need fake investigations with improperly trained or misguided personnel by politicians that ensure police officers are left searching for evidence to support crimes that don’t match the facts. We don’t need elected law enforcement who have backing from predators that seek favor to continue molesting and raping children. We don’t need mental health professionals that protect predators, and then dismiss the impact of years of rapes on the mental state of those victims.
WE NEED ACCOUNTABILITY!
Lastly, to quote the article yet again, “Finally and above all, don’t tell the police. Child sexual abuse, even short of actual penetration, is and has for all relevant times been a crime. But don’t treat it that way; handle it like a personnel matter, ‘in house.’ ”
I was mentally tortured, manipulated, molested, and raped for 10 years by a man elected Man of the Year by officials that knew what he was. He had done what he did for close to 40 years, lost jobs and fled to Vietnam to avoid charges of abuse, yet no one claimed to know a thing. He was a man that used the church to research his victims, used family members to recommend his Boy Scout treatment plan for troubled boys, and even after the Hogan’s outed him the abuse went on even after my arrest.
I can only hope that in the 21 years since my family died that the state of Arkansas is at least able to see what they ignored those many years ago. I told people and told people what he did and why, but as the church and priest used their influence so did my abuser and his family.
Please read what we share, see the failures and connections, and take the time to see my life through the eyes of a victim, not the monster you’ve tried to make me. The investigation of church officials of all denominations, of mandatory reporters that fail to do what is required by law, needs to sweep the nation so that all are protected not preyed upon.