January 19, 2006

Group backs change to state sex-abuse law

The News Journal

The News Journal

BETHANY BEACH — Navy officer Kenneth J. Whitwell’s effort to change Delaware’s statute of limitations law regarding child sexual abuse got a boost Wednesday night from a group he didn’t even know existed two months ago.

Whitwell in November filed a federal lawsuit, alleging that he had been sexually abused by a priest when he was a student at Archmere Academy. And after his news conference that month, the 1986 graduate of Archmere who now lives in Quantico, Va., was worried how people would react.

He had never heard of the Voice of the Faithful – a national group formed in 2002 to support those who had been sexually abused by priests – until after that news conference. He called John and Skip Sullivan of the Coastal Delmarva chapter, and Wednesday night he stood before about 40 Catholics at the chapter’s January meeting. He thanked members and asked the group for its support in changing Delaware’s statute of limitations for such crimes. Though the abuse shook his faith, he now sees that effort as a mission.

Posted by kshaw at January 19, 2006 06:38 AM