Shining light on Baptist clergy sex abuse  
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Background checks aren't enough!


Ex-pastor hopes that resurfacing of '86 conviction will "set me free," 8/19/08 (Southern Baptist pastor's child molestation conviction was in 1986 and Oklahoma didn't establish it's registry until 1989. Colorado didn't establish one until 1991. Neither state's sex-offender registry was retroactive.)

Not all criminal checks are equal, 11/27/07 ("There is no such thing as a comprehensive national criminal background check that can be done by a private agency." / "A lot of child molesters don't have a record." / Previous employers "may not be candid for fear of being sued.")

Banished priests roaming freely, 8/16/07 ("Where you won't find their names is on any Megan's Law website of registered sex offenders, because the statute of limitations on the crimes they're accused of lapsed before they could face justice in a court of law.")

National District Attorneys Association Resolution, 7/29/07 ("Many victims of childhood sexual abuse do not equate the injuries they have suffered, or are continuing to suffer, with the abuse perpetrated upon them as a child until well into adulthood, and consequently most of these crimes go unreported for many years and most of these offenders escape responsibility for their criminal actions.")

No evidence that screening protects , 7/1/07 ("Most of the people who abuse kids do not have records, so the vast majority of people are not going to be removed from the risk pool by those checks.")

Regret: former head of religious order feels badly, 6/22/07 (William Mueller is considered among the 10 most prolific clergymen to have committed sexual abuse. Yet, "despite all of the allegations contained in lawsuits and police reports, Mueller has never been charged with a crime, and to date, none of the lawsuits has been settled. Criminal statutes of limitations in Colorado, Texas and Missouri have deterred prosecutors from pressing criminal charges against Mueller. Civil statutes of limitations in those states have posed obstacles to those who are suing.")

Sexual predators fly under the radar at churches , 6/8/07 ("Pastor sex-offenders are not mentally ill, and they rarely have a criminal history.")

Sex abuse in churches preventable, say experts, 6/1/07 (90 percent of active sexual offenders have no criminal record that would show up in a background check.)