February 22, 2012
Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
The pastor of Gaining Ground Community Church, located in Sparta Wisconsin, was arrested and taken into custody on charges of sex with a child age 16 or older and sexual exploitation by a therapist. Sparta police were notified by the victim’s mother that the pastor, James Monson, had inappropriately touched her daughter. When interviewed by police the victim reported she had sexual contact with Monson on several occasions.
This brave victim and her mother are to be commended for contacting and working with law enforcement officials. The Sparta police department is likewise to be applauded for their diligence in investigating this reported crime. It has been demonstrated time and time again that the sooner law enforcement authorities are involved in a possible child sex crime the better the chances are that predators will be prosecuted and prevented from harming additional youngsters.
The arrest of Pastor Monson is further evidence that the sexual abuse of children is an epidemic in Wisconsin and throughout the country. That is why Wisconsin legislators have introduced the Child Victims Act. State Representative Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) who sponsored the legislation remarked “This is a huge issue, the number of children in Wisconsin and this country that are being sexually assaulted by adults. It’s a tragic epidemic and we have to step up and do something about it”.
This important child protection measure would remove the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, the very crime that Monson is reported to have committed. All major law enforcement organizations and agencies have endorsed this important legislation. Citizens in Wisconsin should contact their respective representatives and urge them to pass the Child Victims Act.
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