Lawyer to SNAP Advocate, Abuse Survivor: You Are "Not Interested in Presenting the Truth"
By Frank Vollor
October 4, 2019
In response to the same article that appeared under two different titles, “Catholic Church Needs to Help DA Investigate Abuse Charges” in the Clarion Ledger, September 29, 2019, and “Response to Clergy Abuse has been Love” in the Greenwood Commonwealth on September 14, 2019, Mark Belenchia flippantly suggests that as fitness review officer for the Diocese of Jackson, I lied about reporting the alleged child abuse in 1998 involving Rapheal Love and that the receipt or acknowledgement of my report from the Greenwood Police Department is my fabrication.
His justification for this accusation is the report does not contain a case number. The receipt or acknowledgment from the Greenwood Police Department I have in my possession was faxed on October 18, 1998, as reflected by the fax information at the top of the transmittal. The report was faxed on City of Greenwood Police Department letterhead, listing the then Mayor Harry L. Smith. The fax was personally signed by Det/Lt Mel Andrews who later retired as Captain Andrews in 2016. The faxed report was from the Greenwood Police Department fax number and faxed to my then number as Circuit Court Judge for the Ninth Judicial District.
|Joshua K. Love stands with his son, Joshua K. Love Jr., center, and his nephew, Mason Martinez, on the front porch of his home in Greenwood, Miss., Saturday, June 8, 2019. "I tell my son I want him to be a better man than I am," the elder Love says. "I don't want him living my broken dreams." (Photo: Wong Maye-E, AP)|
I left that position in 2009 and have not had access to that number since then. The report attached is a law enforcement computer printout styled Offense/Incident Report, Greenwood Police Department. It lists the primary reporting officer and investigating officer as Lester Martin, along with the facts I reported. The boxes of whether the report was accepted or denied are blank, as is the approving supervisor’s signature line. This may explain why it was never assigned a number. The Greenwood PD may have never accepted the report as credible.
To support his accusation that no report was made, Mr. Belenchia makes much of the fact that the present Greenwood Chief Ray Moore said that he could not find any record of the department investigation in 1998. In fact, at least TWO reports were made to the Greenwood Police Department. One by me, as fitness review officer for the Diocese of Jackson, and the other by the Mississippi Department of Human Services after I reported the alleged abuse to them. The TWO reports could have been lost after 20 years, but more likely, they were expunged by law.
The law of Mississippi provides that, upon petition, the Court shall expunge all public records where there was no disposition. Miss. Code Ann. Section 99-19-71. The accused was never prosecuted, indicted, tried, or convicted, nor did any civil authority make a determination of abuse.
Paul West had a right under the law to have the records expunged and the proceedings would be sealed and no longer public. This could be ample reason no public records were found and a background check from Wisconsin revealed nothing.
To make such serious and defamatory accusations on such unreliable assumptions indicates Mr. Belenchia is not interested in presenting the truth.
Mr. Belenchia has all the vengeance of Saul before Saul met the Lord on the Road to Damascus. We pray the Lord enlightens Mr. Belenchia as He did Saul.