Thursday, December 1, 2011

Parole Decision Delayed

The Arkansas Parole Board announced yesterday that they were delaying the decision for David's parole until 2012. According to an article in the Saline Courier, the board needs more time to consider additional information.

For a victim, something that vague is both encouraging and disheartening at the same time. Could they possible be looking at additional letters from victim and citizens asking that David not be paroled? Or could they be doing the opposite, and looking at statements from family members, David himself, or supporters asking that he be paroled? Regardless, the waiting continues.

Since beginning this blog, I've been re-reading some of the news coverage. Sometimes to help me get dates straight, sometimes to help me make sure I've got my facts correct about how the events occurred. For several articles, one in the Benton Courier, one in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, and one in the Arkansas Times, I was contacted by reporters after they were given my number by the Saline County Prosecutor. I had previously spoken with the prosecutor and given him permission to give my contact information to reporters, under the condition that I be able to maintain my anonymity.

This morning I was reading through the Arkansas Times article (to view the entire article, go here: ) checking some dates. I reread something that I had read before dozens of times, and something new hit me. Below is the section I reread (I'm referred to in the article as "Kurt"):

"That might have been that, but as winter turned to spring, Rick Grant spoke more with Kurt, and began to suspect that Pierce had been less than truthful about who was involved and what had gone on. In early April, Grant's suspicions were confirmed when he received a call from another victim [the reporter is talking about the friend I've been referring to as "Joe"], a man close in age to Kurt. Thought Grant still believed that Pierce's dalliances with boys had been confined to an isolated period in the past, he felt that given this latest victim, who called what had gone on sexual abuse he had no recourse but to fire Pierce. "

The dozens of times I had read not just that article, but that statement from Rick, it had never occurred to me the message that was really being sent my way. Because I never specifically came out and said "David sexually abused me", Rick felt like he had recourse other than firing David. So instead of laying out in graphic detail all the times David measured my genitals with a seamstresses tape, all the times David watched me masturbate while he did the same, all the times David had very detailed conversations with me about past sexual acts, all the times David showed me pornography on the computer in his office at the church, I should've just told Rick, "David sexually abused me". If I had only muttered the two magic words, "sexual abuse", then this would've all been handled differently.

Bottom line, Rick was in over his head. He didn't know how to deal with the situation, and the Southern Baptist Convention is completely inadequate in providing churches with the means to properly address accusations of this magnitude. So instead of addressing David's actions in a way that conveyed love, concern, and caring for the victims, we end up with statements like the above, which do nothing but imply that I am to blame for not using the right words when I spoke with Rick.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree that church leaders are not trained to help members of their congregation deal with matters like this. I know of another person who went to Rick concerning sexual abuse in his past (from a family member) and Rick was obviously uncomfortable with the topic and unable to either counsel this gentleman or refer him to someone who could help. I don't say this to slam Rick's character but to point out the need for training pastors in dealing with abuse victims.

I do, however, wonder at the length of time church leaders knew about the abuse at David's hands before actually terminating his employment. I feel justified about my concern since, at the time, I had children in Pure Energy. Why was David allowed continued access to the children of our church? Even if you are concerned about false allegations you take steps to protect children JUST IN CASE! What happened to you and the other young men was inexcusable and the way it was handled only added insult to injury.

My family continued to attend church at FBC after the story about David came to light. We moved our church membership only after reading the article you linked above and finding out that we had been kept in the dark for so long by people we trusted. How many boys were abused during that time? That both frightens and sickens me.

I pray that all of David's victims find peace and that David remains in prison to serve the rest of his too short sentence.

Anonymous said...

You did the correct measure in leaving FBC; we need to run from darkness into the light. The issues remain of the ones left behind, due to unawareness of the information out there or they’re drinking the kool-aid that the current FBC staff is feeding them. Bottom line is Rick knew of the seriousness of David’s acts, but chose to handle them in-house. Would he have handled it differently if his son was involved? Did he make contact with any of the victims’ families? The FBC youth minster knows the truth as well, but he told a former member that “they’re trying to get passed all this” that’s sounds good, but he just spit on all the victims when he muster that sentence. Rests assure the truth will come out.

Anonymous said...

My family and I attended FBC Benton for a short while and I made several friends while there. I pray that none of them were unfortunate enough to suffer this. I pray that you will continue to heal as well as the other victims. I can remember David and running down the hall saying hi and getting a hug or a quick pat on the head from him. It saddened me when I first heard of this awful ordeal. I will continue to follow your blog (I just recently discovered it). Praying for your healing.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing about Rick not going to the authorities when there was even "a hint of inpropriety" sickens me. I agree that if it had been HIS son, things whould have been handled differently. You went forward to Rick and didn't have the RIGHT WORDS maybe, but they weren't needed! The ADULTS needed to act like ADULTS to protect each of you. I pray each day for all of you ..... to be "victors" not victims. Shame on the staff members who "went along" with this. This is not going to stay CONTAINED within their walls. Wake up FBC!

Dad said...

David Pierce should be paroled when the last of his victims reconcile the last of his issues caused by this predator. And not a minute sooner!

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