Saturday, September 20, 2014

Former Second Baptist Church of Houston minister accused of child sex abuse: more information and more questions

I received an email today from someone providing more information on the accusations of child sex abuse against former Second Baptist Church of Houston music minister Eddie Struble that I have written about previously in several posts here, here and here. There are police reports from the Spring Valley Police Department here and here and the Houston Police Department here

Here are some of the contents of the email:

Amy, 

 Saw your blog on sexual abuse of children and teens and wholeheartedly support it, provided everything checks out. In the case of ES, everything said about him preying on a boy, a young man really (*of 16/17) is true. 

*editor's note: the Houston police department report states that the abuse began on 12/01/06 and continued until 10/15/09 which I believe would correspond to said victim's age as 14-17 years old.

Classmates know that he visited the boy in question daily at his home until the wee hrs.

 Many of us knew ES both from church where he had an impressive position as director of a large choir and orchestra, and also from the school that our own kids went to, where he liked to hang out at games. He knew almost all of the students there, was very 'huggy' with them, had their cell phone numbers etc. When the pastor was told about the above situation, the matter was referred to relevant church staff, who said they had ways of investigating such matters and to leave it to them. 

ES was removed from office somehow, but the church never reported back. When asked, they answered that 'it was true', as I suspect the police reports you show testify to. So the voicemail on your web site by Second is pertinently untrue, and a way of the corporate church to avoid legal responsibility since they did not report the matter (possibly to protect the family and ironically, feeding the rumor mill that keeps bringing up these questions).

[voicemail mentioned above embedded here]


 This had immediate unintended consequences, namely that ES applied to schools in the area, including ours. Luckily our kids' school was aware, even somehow responsible, since ES had actually traveled with the school's sports teams on a road trip or two (while not employed by them nor having any kids at the school himself, can you believe it!?! Our kids had been very aware of ES inclinations by then (the investigation by Second took 2 months) and had warned the classmates and the school staff, who by then became very concerned about the school's reputation and role in the matter).

 I believe he was finally served with a restraining order by the school since he kept showing up and contacting kids by phone and on Facebook etc. 

 A supporter



From information I have received from other credible sources, I believe the school referenced in the email above that served Eddie Struble with a restraining order is Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas. The staff is listed here. In July 2011, I contacted Kirk Rightmire, Public Relations Director for Faith West, by email. His reply and my email are below:

Amy,

After inquiring to other staff members and what I know, Faith West and it's employees were never directly involved with any situations involving Eddie. In act, he never was a part of this organization. Therefore, we have no information at all regarding the family’s personal affairs. Our role was to support the family and their request. Any information would need to come from them directly. Thank you for your ministry.

Blessings!

Kirk Rightmire

Kirk Rightmire
Director of Education
Faith West Academy & Community Center
krightmire@faithwest.org

Romans 12: 1 & 2

On Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 4:34 PM, Houston Snap <spacecitysnap@gmail.com> wrote:

Mr. Krightmire, [I misspelled his name.]

I am contacting you about a serious concern about Eddie Struble, a former music minister at Second Baptist. I understand Eddie had caused concern at Faith West regarding a student. I was contacted by some concerned parents in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where Eddie now lives and is visiting churches. I have recently been asked to be the Houston leader for SNAP, www.snapnetwork.org, a confidential support group for survivors of clergy abuse.

 I spoke with the pastor at First Baptist Humble a few weeks ago, Barry Jeffries, where Eddie recently worked as interim music minister. He told me that Eddie was fired from there last October for "suspicious behavior." I also called Hits Theatre where Eddie worked as a vocal coach, and they told me that they are "aware of the allegations" when I mentioned concern that there could have been teenage male victims of abuse by Eddie at the theater. 

I have communicated my concern about Eddie with a former Dallas County probation officer who worked with sex offenders for 10 years who helped form the specialized sex offender unit for Dallas County who is working with a Keller police detective, in the DFW area, about these concerns regarding Eddie. The Keller detective has a copy of a police report and restraining order that was filed against Eddie by the family of a teenage male victim from Second Baptist. I also have seen the report from Spring Valley police. It is my understanding, from a former Second Baptist minister, that Eddie was forced to leave Second as a result of these allegations of abuse. However, David Dixon, executive pastor, left me a detailed message stating that Second Baptist has "no information at all" regarding any of the allegations against Eddie. He also stated that "nothing has ever come to us about the individual that you talk about," and he made a point to say again, "We have no information whatsoever."

 I am concerned that there could potentially be more victims at Second and in the Houston area whom have never come forward to tell anyone. If you or anyone else at Faith West have any information to assist the Keller police detective, I can put you in touch with him.


Sincerely,
Amy Smith
Houston SNAP


Two critical questions:

1. Has Second Baptist Church reported the knowledge of or suspicions of child sex abuse by Eddie Struble as they are required to do by the Texas mandatory reporting law passed in 1971? 

2. Has Faith West Academy reported the knowledge of or suspicions of child sex abuse by Eddie Struble that prompted them to obtain a restraining order as they are required to do by the Texas mandatory reporting law passed in 1971?


SNAP believes that church officials have a moral and civic duty, when confronted with proof or credible allegations of wrongdoing, to aggressively seek out victims, witnesses and whistleblowers and beg them to call police and prosecutors so that those who commit or conceal crimes – especially against children – will be charged, convicted and jailed which prevents future crimes and cover ups.

We urge anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Eddie Struble to come forward immediately and contact law enforcement, begin to heal and protect other kids.

The light of truth and knowledge is our greatest tool to protect kids,



Friday, September 5, 2014

Grooming 101: a convicted child predator in his own words

Below is the full text of KVUE Williamson County reporter Tom Miller's interview with Greg Kelley, the former Leander High School football player sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole or the right to appeal after he was found guilty of super aggravated assault of a child: Link

Greg Kelley: The first thing I wanted to say was during the investigation I was never questioned by police, and I was the only suspect and person of interest in the case. The other thing I want to [say] is that the police never investigated the home daycare where the assault took place. The Cedar Park Police Department didn't do a full investigation of all the children in the daycare. Another one is on stand, the detective admitted erasing emails obtained [as] potential evidence of the case. He testified that he [deleted] . . . probably close to 100 emails . . . the investigator testified she [deleted] the same emails as well, and they both broke company policy, because they weren't supposed to delete  evidence of a case.

 Mysteriously, there was never a time or date provided that the alleged assault occured on. They have an estimate date on April 15, but they said it could have been two months early and two months after. The last thing I really, really point out with you is the conviction was solely on the convoluted testimony of a 4-year-old kid. There was no . . . evidence of me doing the assault, there was no eyewitnesses of an assault, and my 25-year conviction was solely on the word of a 4-year-old boy.

Tom Miller: If you are innocent, why did you go ahead and agree to a 25-year prison sentence without the possibility of parole or an appeal?

GK: The reason why I did that is 'cause I was [given] two options after I was convicted . . . If I waive my right to appeal to a judge, I serve 25 years. If I give it to a jury and still have my right to appeal, they could have convicted me of 25 to life without parole, and I'd already rolled the dice by not taking the plea bargain before trial . . . and to me, in the eyes of a jury, they think of me as a monster, and they didn't give me a fair trial at all, and I'm not going to roll that dice again . . . so, 25 years, [I'll] get out when I'm 44 years old. That's exactly why I took that . . . I took that because I had no other way. They had already convicted me. 

TM: Why do you think they viewed you as a monster?

GK Because I would never have thought they would have convicted meI came in the courtroom, came in there with a full heart, ready to walk out there with my family and my supporters, and my heart was crushed when they convicted me on such a convoluted trial, such a washed up trial . . . they thought I was a monster. [But I have] supporters thinking otherwise.

TM: I know you denied that this ever happened, but was there any partial truth to any of the accusations against you?

GK: No. There was no truth at all.

TM: Is there anything you regret doing or wish you had done differently?

GKNo, not at all. People ask me [about] not taking that probation plea bargain . . . my mom told me to take it, my family told me to really think about taking it, I said, "No, I'm not gonna do that. I'm gonna abide by the principles that I [grew] up with and my family taught me, and I'm not gonna accept such a horrible crime when I didn't do it. That's not my morals and that's not my goals. I wanted to change my life and this is not me, so I didn't take probation as an option.

TM: Do you regret that now, though, in hindsight?

GK: I don't. I don't regret it, no.

TM: If you had an opportunity to speak to the families of these children who accused you, what would you say?

GK: If I had the opportunity to talk to their families, the first thing I'd say is, "I'm sorry that your son is thinking that something's happened to him, but I think he's acting very untruthful in his testimony, and if something did happen to him, you just have the wrong guy. Bottom line, I'm sorry, but you just have the wrong guy."

TM: Were you ever alone with either of these boys?

GK: No. I also testified on the stand that I was never alone with them. It was always in the presence of an adult.

TM: Why do you think they said these things happened?

GK: I've had that question asked to me plenty of times, and . . . we're trying to find that out . . . and not letting me be in here any longer.

TM: What was your relationship with these two boys? Were you a role model for them? Were you a friend for them?

GK: That's all that that was. I was the only one that would interact with them when nobody except for the daycare provider would . . . like I said on the stand . . . I didn't want them to think as me as a big stranger and I wanted to get to know them. You know, I lived there and I wanted them to get to know [me] and I wanted to get to know them, and I believe they looked at me as a role model because they'd always wanna high-five me.

TM: Was there anything at all that happened? Was there anything that you believe that was potentially borderline inappropriate that happened?

GK: Not at all. As far as me, I was never inappropriate with the boys. That's one thing I can say, is in my point of view, there was nothing inappropriate going on.

TM: Was there anything potentially inappropriate that could have been seen in somebody else's point of view?

GK: No.

TM: For people who are unsure, what would you say to them? People who don't necessarily know what to think, because a lot of people think that something happened, they're just not sure what.

GK: The only thing I can do is say I didn't do it. I wish I could reach for a mountaintop and say I didn't do it. I wish people believed me, but apparently that's not how this world works. For those people I would say, "Believe what you want to believe. If you knew me as a person, if you knew the things I want to do in my life, I wouldn't have the time or the mindset of doing something that monstrous.

TM: From what I've seen, you and your family are people of faith. Why do you think this happened to you?

GK: I believe it's in God's hands . . . this is just a speed bump. As a man it can only make me better, so you know, I believe it's with a plan . . . bad things happen to good people all the time.

TM: What are you hoping happens moving forward? Are you looking for a miracle?

GK: Of course, yes. [laughs] I pray every night that something will come out and show my innocence and I can get out of here . . . I have many supporters who are trying to get me out of here because they know the true me, they know who I am and what I was up against. So, yes, I am hoping for a miracle.

TM: Again, if you are innocent, why would you go ahead and give up 25 years of your life without the possibility of parole of an appeal.

GK: I didn't have a choice. I went to trial fighting. I went to trial to fight for my life. I testified and proved my innocence . . . but it's not supposed to be that way. I had the right to remain silent and I didn't . . . I took that because I was convicted, I was wrongly convicted and I didn't have a choice, and 25 years, I saw a light outside of a tunnel rather than giving up, giving into a jury, and they could convict me of life without parole . . . If I would have given it to the jury, they could have given me life, and I couldn't handle that.

TM: Is there anything you want to say in this last minute? [Kelley's time on his prepaid phone card was almost out]

GK: The only thing is I didn't do it . . . and I think the truth will come out, and the truth will set me free.

About a week after the interview above in which Kelley states that "...you just have the wrong guy," Greg Kelley did another jailhouse interview with Casey Claiborne of Fox 7 Austin:
I can't say somebody else did it to him because I know how it feels to be accused of something like that. And I couldn't put my finger on a person or anything. But I know that that kid was being untruthful on the stand.
 MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

"I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact," said Sandusky.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


From the Austin American-Statesman:
Kelley said he would play with the kids at the in-home Cedar Park daycare, where he temporarily stayed with a classmate while his parents were in the hospital. He said the kids would climb on his arms and he would do “rough play” with them.
Prosecutor Geoffrey Puryear asked Kelley if he had ever told anyone that he was doing something different in the spring of 2013 besides going to school and working. Kelley said no.
Prosecutors then called gym owner Phillip Forbes, who testified that Kelley told him 10 days ago that he was a sniper in the Marine Corps and was going to be stationed in Southern California. He said he found out Kelley was lying to him when he saw articles in the news about Kelley’s trial.
“I wouldn’t believe anything he says,” said Forbes.


















Thank you, Mary.




How Child Molesters Fool People by Anna C. Salter, Ph.D.

Complete list of slide presentations on Dr. Anna Salter's site here.





























Thursday, August 21, 2014

Email from the pastor of Generations Church in support of convicted child sex offender Greg Kelley

In a previous post, I wrote about the public support that Greg Kelley, a convicted child sex offender, has received from Generations Church in Leander, Texas, led by Pastors Bob and Tammy Brydon. A member of the Brydon Family, Jake Brydon, is an organizer for the #FightforGK and #PrayforGK campaigns along with pastor Bob Brydon who called me expressing anger at our SNAP statement urging him to cancel the "Freedom Fest." Jake is also a spokesman for the Greg Kelley family. 

Dee Parsons at The Wartburg Watch wrote a post yesterday titled Generations Church and Greg Kelley's Christian Supporters: Another Christian's View
This blog has consistently emphasized our concerns with pedophilia and the church. So, for some time, except for this letter to the little superhero, we have been content to let justice takes its course in this situation since it did not seem to involve the church. However, it has become apparent that some of the people leading the effort to exonerate Greg Kelley are involved in the evangelical church. Also, a lead pastor in Generations Church appears to be part of the effort to exonerate Kelley. That church has been the site of "Freedom Fest" in support of Kelley. Perhaps this church is not aware of the number of churches in the US which have been involved in covering up for pedophiles or they may have been reticent to use the church for an event to raise money for a convicted pedophile.
Today in a comment on Dee's post, Megan Brydon, wife of Jake Brydon, said:
We did have an event at the church. It was not a church event, in fact there was never an invitation to members. The pastor is in support, but plays no role in this movement. He offered the building because he felt like justice was not served and that it should be. The church did not pass out ribbons supporting anyone. The pastor is not a leader of this movement, that is just not true.
On July 28, after pastor Bob Brydon called me, he sent this email to several SNAP leaders:

From: Pastor Bob Brydon <pastorbob@generationschurch.net>
Date: Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 4:41 PM
Subject: FIGHT FOR JUSTICE
To: Pastor Bob Brydon <pastorbob@generationschurch.net>

Dear SNAP Leaders,

Today it was brought to my attention that your organization went public with slanderous information about our church, our community, and the FightForGK cause, while at the same time asking us to keep everything private as we fight for justice.

In our community, you can’t have a conversation with the powers-at-be unless you can show “significant support” for your case. That is why we are hosting events and signing petitions so that we can be heard. To do that privately won’t accomplish the goal. Our church is hosting this event because we believe that justice has not been served to either party and the FFGK group needed a place to host their event.

If it was my son/daughter who was abused or falsely accused, I would hope your group would be in favor of fighting for justice.  Our most powerful tool is “the light of truth”...and through our actions we can bring justice and healing.

Respectfully,

Pastor Bob Brydon
Generations Church
[P]  512.616.7000 x150

It seems to me that Megan and Bob aren't on the same page. Or perhaps this is more evidence of this group's stark lack of integrity. 


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Email from Fight for GK leader: "Extremely Disappointed"

M. Dustin Brimberry mdbrimberry@confluentinc.com

10:43 AM
to me
Amy,
Let me start off by saying that I 100% support the victims that have been molested (and I believe they probably were), that is not in question.  I would never support a predator, I have the facts on my side and we need to catch the actual person that did this, the longer we wait, the more likely that person is to strike again because Greg Kelley is not some monster and he did not do this!  Do your research, the police destroyed communication between themselves and CPS, which the judge partially blocked at trial.  Greg is also a victim of a corrupt and evil DA, and police department.  Do you really think a church would support Greg if he did this?  NO.  The pastor of the church was not even taking sides in the matter until he saw the real facts of the case with his own eyes.  As soon as he was presented with the facts that were suppressed at trial, he quickly got on board because he saw the injustice of this whole thing.
I am extremely disappointed in your recent comments regarding the Greg Kelley case.  I know that you probably published the letter from the Cedar Park Chief of Police to be used to try and smear the #FightforGK movement that is quickly gaining momentum, but that is about to backfire on you.
I love how enemies of the true and living God (though they pretend they are not), play right into his hands when they partner with satan.  God loves to mock and ridicule satan, satan is always so arrogant that he always overplays his hand.  That is exactly what our and all the others who clearly have no understanding of the GK case and have continued to falsely accuse an innocent young man.  Your day along with all those others who have been on the side of injustice and corruption by the law enforcement (what a joke) of Williamson County have a day of reckoning coming very soon.  God is about to rub all your faces in your lies because the truth is about to explode on the scene and it is Greg Kelley, his supporters and his family that are about to have the last laugh. 
There is a movement building in Williamson County and the elected officials in Wilco are about to find out what happens to those in office that abuse their power and authority.  We have built huge support and registered several hundred voters during our rallies.  Once we secure a new trial for GK, we will be putting together strategic campaign to remove all those corrupt individuals that we elected in Wilco.  I am really not sure why you choose to take the wrong side, but your eyes along with many other eyes around this injustice are about to be opened wide. 
He is 100% innocent, he was never alone with the child, there are so many facts in question.  You should do yourself a favor and help us free GK so focus can be placed on catching the real predator.  If that person is not stopped he will strike again and we must not allow anymore victims.
The truth will COME OUT!  Those in our legal system will be held accountable and we will do everything in our power to make sure that all parties that supported this injustice are given their pink slips by the voters of Wilco.  Jana Duty and made promises to clean up the corruption in the Wilco DA office, and has done the same thing the previous DA did.  It is certainly true that power corrupts.  I supported her during her original election because deep down I had hoped she would do what she said.  Instead she is continuing to persecute the innocent with her draconian tactics.  Greg and the kid with the pot brownies are the ones unjustly treated.  Once we elect a new DA that can be trusted, I hope that a full investigation is done into Ms. Duty and her band of misfits, and that myself, Brunner and the other ADA clowns all spend some time behind bars for their illegal and unjust politics.
I really think you should educate yourself on the facts of this case, and stop believing the lies that have, at least for now ruined an innocent man’s future.   Open your eyes, stop the bias, and you will only come to one conclusion, Greg Kelley DID NOT commit this crime, someone else did.
Sincerely,



Dustin Brimberry

UPDATE 8/18/14: 

I replied last night to the above email from Dustin Brimberry saying, "Please do not contact me again." He did:

What you can't handle the truth?
You can rant on and on your campaigns, but when someone stands up to you you whine and say "don't contact me, I can't handle someone calling me out.
I will challenge you and anyone else who lies about Greg Kelley.  We want justice for the child too, and I would think you would want to ensure that the correct person by caught, or they will do it again.


Just you watch that judge will grant a new trial and Greg will be acquited and you will have pie in your face, just like all the other haters.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cedar Park Police Chief on the Greg Kelley Case

I am posting with permission of the Cedar Park, Texas Chief of Police Sean Mannix, his statement on the Greg Kelley child sexual assault case emailed on July 30, 2014 to his police department, a matter of public record.

All,

As you are all aware, on July 15, 2014, Greg Kelley was convicted of two counts of Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a small child and sentenced to 25 years in prison with no eligibility for parole or appeal, through a plea agreement.  In most cases the next step would be a quiet departure to a state prison with little fanfare.  Not in this case.  I know that you are all in tune with the fact that Mr. Kelley has garnered much support from his old classmates and others and a movement was established called “Fight for GK”.  This group has been very vocal in their support of Mr. Kelley and very critical of the police department and the DA’s office.  The Fight for GK movement has taken on a cult-like appearance, as it is mostly high school kids that have only been exposed to the news reports and what fellow supporters have told them, with no interest in seeking the truth.  This movement, in my opinion, has been fueled by what I can only characterize as some of the most biased news coverage of a trial that I have ever encountered in three decades of doing this work.  In this case there was tremendous coverage of the defense case and Mr. Kelley’s support group and very little coverage of the substance of the trial itself.  I have not been able to figure out if the bias was intended or just lazy reporting.

You all saw Detective Dailey take a beating by the Defense with no coverage of his testimony to the Prosecution.  A picture was painted that he did something improper by entering the interview room and asking the child to tell them what the child had told his mother.  This was irregular, but not improper.  In a perfect world the child would have been subject to a deep forensic interview, but at the time the CAC had lost their only staff member qualified for such interviews.  We have a luxury of having a child advocacy center available to us.  Many investigators around the country do not have access to these resources and are forced to do the child interviews themselves.  While that is not ideal, it is anything but improper.

I have been asked by many of you, why we have not taken a more public stance on setting the record straight while this cult-like group drones on.  It is as simple as this; we are in the business of keeping our community safe, enforcing the law, and developing prosecutable criminal investigations.  We did all three of those things resulting in a solid conviction, so we move on to safeguarding the next potential victims of crime instead of entering the tent of the circus they are trying to create.  We do not spike the ball and do a victory dance every time we get a conviction on a violent criminal and we will not start now.  In fact, I find this case to be particularly sad because so much of it could have been avoided if Mr. Kelley had the character to do the right thing on several occasions.  Pedophilia like alcoholism is a disease.  It is not having a desire for young children that got Mr. Kelley into trouble, it was acting on that desire.  Mr. Kelley let his demons get the better of him and has signaled that he has no desire to treat the disease, as the first step is recognition and personal accountability.  Instead he chooses to claim innocence, con his friend and family,  and blame the system and others for his actions.

The Fight for GK movement is largely based on the following position that is posted on their web-site.  “The problem is, he was convicted based solely on the testimony of a 4 year old boy. Not to discredit the words of a 4 year old, but no other supporting evidence was given. Kelley was never interrogated by the police, no other suspects were sought out, and the police department kept their investigation focused only on Kelley without admitting there could be other explanations… We believe he was wrongly charged, by not allowing more evidence in support of Kelley's innocence to be brought forward.”

As you may be aware, Kelley was not interviewed because he exercised his constitutional protection against self-incrimination by invoking his right to remain silent through his attorney, Patricia Cummings.  In other words, he lawyered up. At that point we are not allowed to interview a suspect.  You don’t get it both ways, refuse to give a statement and then whine that the police did not get your side of a story.  He did get to tell his story on the stand and was caught lying to the court, about a lie of stolen honor when he told somebody he was a Marine Sniper returning from Afghanistan.  As an old Marine I am disgusted with this lack of honor.  No evidence of Kelley’s innocence has ever been brought forward by him or his defense team, other than claiming innocence. 

No other suspects were sought and the investigation stayed focused on Kelley because that is how a proper investigation is conducted in all cases in which the perpetrator is known to the victim and positively named and identified as the assailant.  When a small child makes an honest outcry that somebody molested them and named their known attacker it would be gross incompetence to try to take them down a different path.  The Kelley supporters have evolved from an earlier position that the kids made up their stories, to a more modified explanation that one of them was likely exposed to sexual abuse at the hands of another.  This is very twisted logic to believe that a child is intellectually developed enough to articulate the most horrific thing they have been the victim of, but not intellectually developed enough to recognize the known perpetrator that they are exposed to daily.  Never in the investigation was there another “Greg” or another “Greg’s room” living or located at that house.  As you are all aware, it is rare in these cases to have any physical evidence as the outcry generally occurs weeks or months after the victimization of the child.  Using their logic, we should free all the pedophiles and rapists that were jailed on eyewitness victim testimony.  How safe would our children be then? 

The prosecutors did an outstanding job and the jury was unanimous in making likely the most difficult decision of their collective lives.  Mr. Kelley made a plea agreement and gave up all right to appeal which speaks volumes as to the strength of the Prosecution’s case, as his attorney most likely saw nothing that would lead to a successful appeal.  The judge and jurors were absolutely correct in throwing out the charges related to the second victim when the child recanted.  This does not negate the child’s initial outcry that specifically identified Mr. Kelley but does create a reasonable doubt.  I can think of no reason for a small child to make up a false outcry, but I can think of many reasons that the child would not want to retell the story.  Please keep the children and families of both victims in your thoughts and prayers.

Please understand that the Fight For GK group is mostly kids, with some adults, who firmly believe in their cause even when faced with the truth of the matter.  They are mostly very good people and well intentioned for the most part, not recognizing that with every little rally they hold they are subjecting the families of the victims to re-victimization and possibly stifling future sexual assault victims that are seeing this rabid support of a convicted child rapist.  They have a First Amendment right to express their beliefs and should be treated with respect and professionalism.  In my estimation these folks are just more victims to Mr. Kelley’s lack of personal accountability.  Letting his friends and family finance his feigned innocence, after asking for a plea deal,  is shameful.

Keep up the outstanding job that you all do every day and do not be discouraged by our detractors as we have chosen a profession that guarantees critics of our work.  JFK once remarked “too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

God Bless.


Sean M. Mannix
Chief of Police
Cedar Park Police Department
512-260-4600

Monday, August 11, 2014

Blaming, shaming and revictimizing kids by Generations Church and the Fight for GK

MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports
They called it "Freedom Fest."
Among the crowd, Greg Kelley's high school sweetheart, Gaebri Anderson -- speaking on television about Greg for the first time.
She says there's no way her boyfriend is guilty of this crime.
"From my perspective, I have known him for so long, I know his heart.  I know he's not capable of such terrible things," she said. 
...
But there is a big outcry, especially on social media from those who feel justice was done in the Greg Kelley case.

Amy Smith is with a group called SNAP that supports victims of abuse.

"Some of those that I have connected with on Twitter and through Facebook and then some have reached out to me privately through social media saying 'we live here, we live in Leander, we live in Austin.  And we're very disturbed by such a public outpouring.'  And some of them are sexual abuse victims themselves and that really touched a nerve with them," Smith said.

Smith says there are better, more private ways to show support for Kelley.  She says many are upset Sunday's Freedom Fest was held at a church.

"To a child, that says 'They're against me.'  And to even question 'Is God against me because I spoke up?'  And so it's the public way of showing support...and I don't think you need to have a public festival with dancing and games and food and a party with a slip and slide to show support for an imprisoned friend or family member," she said.

Myth 1:  Normal-appearing, well educated, middle-class people don't molest children.

One of the public's most dangerous assumptions is the belief that a person who both appears and acts normal could not be a child molester. Sex offenders are well aware of our propensity for making assumptions about private behavior from one's public presentation. In fact, as recent reports of abuse by priests have shown, child molesters rely on our misassumptions to deliberately and carefully set and gain access to child victims.
 According to Dr. Anna Salter, Ph.D., a foremost expert in sex offenders, "a double life is prevalent among all types of sex offenders . . . . The front that offenders typically offer to the outside world is usually a 'good person,' someone who the community believes has a good character and would never do such a thing" (Salter, 2003, p. 34).
In her years of work with sex offenders, Dr. Salter has found they commonly employ a variety of tactics which allow them to gain access to children while concealing their activities. For instance, many seek responsible positions that place them in close proximity with children. They also tend to adopt a pattern of socially responsible and caring behavior in public. Many have practiced and perfected their ability to charm, to be likeable and to radiate a facade of sincerity and truthfulness. This causes parents and others to drop their guard, allowing the sex offender easy and recurring access to children.

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Last night after the Fox Austin story aired with my interview, I received the following email. I will keep the sender's name confidential, but he gave me permission to post his letter saying, "Yes, you may use my letter.  Anything that lets the victims know they are not alone in this dark time is fine by me."
Dear Ms. Smith,

I was absolutely shocked to discover that a church is blindly supporting a convicted child molester and smearing the victim and his family.  But my faith in the world was restored slightly as soon as I learned that you and others are taking action to expose this so-called "support group" and to raise awareness for the true victim of this case: the abused child.  Please know that you're doing wonderful work, and I wish you all the success in the world with this and any future tasks you take on.  God bless.

All the best,

Generations Church in Leander, Texas is led by Pastors Bob and Tammy Brydon. A member of the Brydon Family, Jake Brydon, is an "organizer for the #FightforGK and #PrayforGK campaigns" along with Bob Brydon who called me expressing anger at our SNAP statement urging him to cancel the "Freedom Fest." Jake is also a spokesman for the Greg Kelley family.
The No. 1 reason that we're fighting is because there was absolutely zero evidence in this case other than the testimony of a 4-year-old boy,” said Brydon, who also serves as a family spokesman.
This kid is such a top-notch kid. He's not just innocent, he's special. He is a unique human being.
Prosecutors appeared to have a much different take.
“What parent would possibly program their kid to make that statement?” Assistant District Attorney Sunday Austin asked jurors during the trial's closing arguments, according to coverage by Austin's KVUE-TV. “What parent could possibly want this child to know about oral sex at the age of 4?” 












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Bikers vs. Neo-Calvinist Leaders: The Gospel and Child Sexual Abuse


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

One with Courage

This post is a follow up to my previous post A Joint Open Letter to the Super Hero Victim of Greg Kelley.
Photo by Michaela Myers

Last night outside the Williamson County jail in Georgetown, Texas, a group of supporters gathered, dressed in teal, the color representing sexual assault awareness, to stand up and speak out for the little boys in the Greg Kelley child sexual assault criminal case. Greg Kelley supporters also gathered across the lawn in front of the jail, many dressed in jailhouse orange shirts and tape across their mouths.






















Greg Kelley protests draw more attention and scrutiny
Across the parking lot, people dressed in teal were supporting the victim in the case.
Janet Heimlich is the director of the Child-Friendly Faith Project, a group that advocates for victims of such abuse. She did not go to the demonstration Monday night, but says demonstrations like that of the Kelley’s supporters, especially when members of a church or faith community are involved, are harmful to victims.
“I think that maybe they don’t have a full appreciation of what kind of impact that can have when you have very public rallies in support of someone who has been convicted of sexually abusing a small child,” said Heimlich.



Supporters of child sex assault victim rally in support
"I am a victim of sexual abuse myself, and I feel that no child should be ignored," said Michaela Myers, another victim supporter.








SNAP statement on the church holding a "Justice for GK" rally
Discrediting victims and publicly supporting predators, especially convicted ones, not only hurts the innocent victims who have already suffered too much, but it also hurts other victims who suffer in silence and self-blame.
It creates a hostile environment and does not encourage victims to speak up and help protect other innocent people.
We urge officials at Generations Church to cancel this hurtful event. If congregants really must support a convicted predator, we ask that they do so privately. 
The church is run by pastors Bob & Tammy Brydon (1461 E. Woodview Dr. in Leander, TX (512-616-7000, info@generationschurch.net). According to the church website, the Brydons have been “actively involved in local church ministry, in both lay and pastoral staff positions, in several large Austin-area churches.”
I received a phone call yesterday afternoon from Pastor Bob Brydon of Generations Church who is helping lead the effort to "fight for GK," the man convicted of super aggravated sexual assault of a 4 year-old boy, in prison for 25 years after accepting a sentencing deal waiving his right to appeal. Bob immediately let me know how offended he was at our statement, saying he considered it "slander." I asked what was slanderous about it, but he did not answer. He just began a rant about how the "real perp" is still out there on the streets.










Sex offenders in our midst
Monsters behave like monsters. It isn’t a choice they make. But offenders who behave monstrously are people, not monsters, people who have chosen to behave abusively and who need to be held responsible for their choices.
Plus, it promotes the myth that sex offenders are not the regular people we know and love. And as author Amy K. Sorrells asserts“It’s not the people you don’t know who will hurt your daughter, girlfriend, wife. It’s the people you do know.”  
"Mom of a Super Hero" commented at The Wartburg Watch:
1. Child sex abusers are almost always nice, beloved members of their community (in this case a church). This is how they ingratiate themselves into a community and gain access to children. 2. Children this young do not lie. 3. If you believe he is innocent, support him privately. Do not hold rallies, or bully the family. 4. If you need to resort to making up scenarios to support the abuser, you don’t have much to stand on.
I’ve read the comments sections of the news stories on this (I have also read everything on that ridiculous freegk site). The family is being attacked because a group of people can’t believe someone they like, a “nice guy”, would do something like this. They should educate themselves on child sex abusers, especially if they have, or plan on having, children themselves.
The main insane rationalization I’ve read so far from supporters on the boards is that it was probably actually a family member of the victim who was the abuser, and the whole case is a “cover up”. First of all, I don’t understand how that would work. Secondly, as someone who went through what this family is going through last year (daughter abused at a church daycare, abuser convicted and sentenced, church people showing abnormal amounts of support for someone with a criminal background, creepy behavior he actually admitted to on stand, and other stuff I won’t get into), I can tell you that the victim’s family is thoroughly vetted in these cases. In our case, we went to the police at 8 pm at night. CPS was at our house by 10 am the next morning for a surprise visit/interview. Thirdly, how sick and cruel, to say something like that on a public forum.
The family is often maligned in these situations, when, in reality, it is a child from a supportive, loving family who will actually have the ability to testify.
So my point is yes, this family is being bullied. I was bullied too, called all sorts of ridiculous things, including Bored Housewife like the ladies who run this site, even though I wasn’t a housewife (why do housewives get such a bad rap, anyway?) The bullies said I must have concocted the whole thing and gotten my daughter to lie for my own “entertainment” (whoever would even think of that – a child sex abuse trial as entertainment – is a sick, sick person). My husband, for whatever reason, was mostly spared. Perhaps because I was seen as weaker, or more vulnerable, by the church folk, who sat in the courtroom and snickered when I broke down during my testimony. These sheeple have no decency. They will stretch to any length to conjure up reasons why the child sex abuser could not possibly have done this, no matter who they hurt in the process. They do not know how ridiculous they sound to any sane person capable of independent thought, but, sadly, I suspect they do know the damage they are doing to the victim and the victim’s family, at least deep down. They know the truth deep down.
The young ages of the sex abuser’s supporters disturbs me. In our case, several supporters were young women, just like in this case, although my daughter’s abuser was not a young man. Have we failed our young women this badly? They do not know what is inappropriate, perverted, or just plain mean, especially on a public forum? Are these women going to have children some day? Would they side with a grown man over their own four-year-old son, because the man was a “good guy”? How many of them were abused themselves, and perhaps have not dealt with it? Statistically, some of them. These questions have kept me up at night.
I related very much to the commenter who pointed out that these things said on the internet will last forever. I have thought about the day when my daughter will search for her story, and read the awful things people said, even though of course they’re not true. But how horrible for her. Pain on top of pain. People can be so cruel.
As for the commenter who said there is no benefit to writing an open letter, that the family would not want it, he is absolutely wrong. He said he knows this from experience, but did not cite the experience. I suspect he is stretching the truth or lying. I would have loved for a letter like this to be penned for my family. I had tears streaming down my face reading it tonight. This family needs to know there are people out there who support them. They need to hear a little sanity and compassion, because they are facing a lot of insanity and brutality right now, on top of their already insurmountable suffering.
The David and Goliath story is so appropriate for this situation. My daughter drew the comparison herself before she testified (yes, our family is Christian, for those of you to whom it matters for whatever reason. What we are not is Pharisees, or sheeple). People know that story, including non Christians, so cut the garbage, whoever commented on that.
I wish I could travel to Leander on Aug 10th to stand in support of this brave young boy and his family. I can’t, so I will pray for them, Christian or not (that comment made me sick. God loves all). Dee, Amy, I don’t know who you are, or understand everything you do, but keep doing it!
I firmly believe there are two types of people. Those who can deal with situations of child sex abuse, and those who can’t. I firmly believe this man is guilty, and his supporters can’t deal with it. I am so thankful for that first category of people, those who can face the truth head on, shine the light on it, and get these monsters out of society. The police (the ones in our case were maligned, too, guess what, it’s called building a defense!), prosecutors, jury members, parents/guardians, family and other support people, social workers, mental health professionals, those who run support centers, doctors. But mostly, the brave young Super Heroes who stand up before their abusers, in a room full of strangers, and tell the truth.
(sorry to make this post a lot about our story, but I wanted to give the perspective from someone who has been through it, and I believe the more light we shine, the better)