Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sad tale

The Oregonian reports that the leader of the Christian Coalition in Oregon is being accused of child molestation. The alleged crimes span decades and involve multiple family members. This is a sad, sad tale. In response yesterday, Louis Beres announced that he would "withdrraw from public life" while the charges are investigated. He went on to proclaim his innocence.

The Oregonian talked to three of Beres' female relatives, including two who told reporters that he molested them. All three said they have been interviewed for several hours by detectives.

"I was molested," said one of the women, now in her early 50s. "I was victimized, and I've suffered all my life for it. I'm still afraid to be in the same room with (Beres)."

Beres, 70, whose group champions socially conservative candidates and causes, confirmed he is under investigation for alleged molestation. He blamed "personal and political enemies" for the reports and said, "I never molested anybody."

Two of the alleged molestations occurred decades ago and likely would not result in criminal charges because state law limits prosecution of certain crimes. For example, the statute of limitations on sex abuse expires after six years.

One case, however, may fall within statutory timelines, authorities confirmed. That investigation involves a female family member who was allegedly molested by Beres when she was in elementary school, authorities said.

Beres family members told The Oregonian that they called the child abuse hot line last month after several women in the family said they openly discussed for the first time what happened with Beres. The names of the family members have been withheld because The Oregonian generally doesn't identify alleged sex abuse victims.

Another family member said she does not recall being abused by Beres, but said she would often wake at night and see him in bed with another young female family member.

Rich Galat, 41, of Oakland, Calif., is Beres' nephew. He said he told detectives that Beres has molested several female family members over two generations.

"My family has gone through hell," Galat said. "Lives have been ruined. Those of us who have come forward have been ostracized, verbally abused and the victims of character assassination. . . . It must stop."

No comments: