Current Groups Conducting Investigations

 

Current Groups Conducting Investigtions

 

We are aware of seven teams / organizations that currently investigate reports of abuse in evangelical schools and mission agencies. In this document we look at who founded the investigating organization,and who receives the report and recommendations after the investigation is completed. We have also included a brief footnote on the relationships between some of the investigators and investigating organizations. 

1. CSPN (Child Safety and Protection Network ) http://childsafetyprotectionnetwork.org/ 
CSPN was co-founded in 2006 by Scott Ross of New Tribes Mission (NTM), and is a consortium of 50 mission agencies, schools and NGOs. One of CSPN's roles is to assist mission agencies in setting up Investigation Teams to respond to reports of abuse within their mission organization. The Investigation Teams consist of staff members from within the membership of CSPN.  

Who has received past final reports and recommendations? 
     Institution: YES 
     Victims: NO. It is our understanding that each victim who reports to the Investigation Team receives a report only of what he/she reported and the outcome of that report, nothing more. 
     Public: NO 

2. G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) http://netgrace.org/ 
GRACE was founded by Boz Tchividjian and is contracted by organizations to set up and conduct external, independent investigations into reports of abuse.  

Who has received past final reports and recommendations? 
     Institution: YES 
     Victims: YES. There is no information given to the institution that is not also given to the victims and the public. 
     Public: YES. Note that victim and witness names are coded so that they are anonymous and unidentifiable. Only abusers and those who mishandled reports of abuse are named. 

3. IHART (Independent Historical Abuse Review Team)
IHART was commissioned by NTM USA; Pat Hendrix is the coordinator of IHART. Pat Hendrix's previous experience with investigations was as the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) in-house staff liaison to an independent inquiry. 

Who has received past final reports and recommendations? 
     Institution: YES 
     Victims: NO. It is our understanding that each victim who reports to an IHART Investigation Team receives a report of what he/she reported and the actions taken from that report, and a brief general report of other abuse at their school; this brief general report is not the full report received by the institution. 
     Public: NO. 

4. Pii (Professional Investigators International) www.teampii.com 
Pii is a private investigative company founded by Bob Davis after Scott Ross (NTM) spoke with him about the need for an independent group to conduct investigations for missions organizations. Pii is currently being used by NTM (with at least one report completed) and the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE). 

Who has received past final reports and recommendations? 
     Institution: YES 
     Victims: NO. Victims from NTM have been given brief summaries, but not the full report. The ABWE report is still pending. The distribution of any information is at the sole discretion of the institution. www.teampii.com/faq/: "Upon the conclusion of an investigation by Professional Investigators International the party/parties who appointed us to conduct the investigation determine what of the information provided to them will be shared." It appears that the kinds of abuse included in the report are also at the discretion of the institution. See footnote (a) below. 
     Public: NO 

5. SICG (Sensitive Issues Consultative Group)
This is the C&MA's internal investigative body that receives allegations of abuse and conducts internal investigations. (Pat Hendrix of IHART is a consultant on the SICG). 

Who has received past final reports and recommendations? 
     Institution: YES 
     Victims: NO. It is our understanding that each victim who reports to SICG receives a report only of what he/she reported and the outcome of that report. At least one victim had to appeal to the president of the denomination to receive even the transcripts of the interview with the SICG.      Public: NO 

6. Simms Showers LLP http://www.simmsshowers.com/ 
was a law firm ABWE hired in 2011 to investigate cases of historical abuse that did not include the single pedophile being investigated at that time by GRACE (who was later fired and replaced with Pii). Their specialty appears to be whistle blower litigation, among other legal realms unrelated to child abuse. 

Who has received past final reports and recommendations? 
     Institution: YES 
     Victims: NO. The victims received only their interview transcripts, as well as their alleged abuser's transcripts, and copies of the letter of termination given to their individual abuser in cases where the allegations were deemed "credible." It is unclear to us whether these were provided to the victims by ABWE or by Simms Showers. 
     Public: NO 

7. The Ross Group International (TRGI) http://therossgroupintl.com/response-services
The Ross Group International (TRGI) is a new firm founded by Scott Ross (NTM)in 2014. We do not yet have information regarding who will receive reports and recommendations. More information will follow.  

Footnotes : 
(a) NTM USA contracted Pii to investigate allegations of conduct in violation of the Child Safety Protection Network definitions of child abuse and physical abuse and NTM USA policies that existed at the time of the alleged actions. Prohibition of sexual assault was not included in the NTM policies in the 1980s, and the Child Safety Protection Network was only formed in 2006. Therefore, in the case of Gary Earl, sexual assault was not included in Pii's Statement of Findings of the abuse victim. Because of this, Gary Earl was required to resign, rather than being dismissed /fired from NTM. http://fandaeagles.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1362 

(b) Some of the connections between Scott Ross, IHART, Pii, CSPN, SICG, and The Ross Group International: 

1. Scott Ross is a co-founder of Child Safety Protection Network (CSPN), was influential in the start-up of Pii, was legal counsel of NTM when NTM commissioned IHART and hired Pat Hendrix, and is the founder of The Ross Group International (TRGI).  

2. IHART, commissioned by NTM, has subcontracted out at least one investigation to Pii, the investigation into the abuse at the NTM school in Panama. 

3. Pat Hendrix, coordinator of IHART, is a consultant on the SICG, the C&MA's internal investigation team. 

Prepared by: Beverly Shellrude Thompson, Doris Glenn, Dale Ingraham 
June 2014