Bill’s unique career combines government, communications, electoral and public policy expertise. At age 25 he was elected to the Pennsylvania State Legislature and prior to that was the director of finance for the Pennsylvania Youth Advocate Program. A one-time candidate for the US Congress, Bill has spent most of his career as a political media consultant. He has taught university level classes at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at San Diego. He sits on the board of the Youth Advocate Program, Inc. and has been speaking out on legislative remedies to the crisis of child sexual abuse since his public announcement in the fall of 2018 that he too is a survivor of child sexual abuse. A founding member of Pennsylvanian’s United to Protect Children, Bill brings experience and an unwavering commitment to the fight for justice.
Shaun Dougherty was raised the 8th of 9 children in an Irish Catholic family in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He was sexually abused from ages 10 to 13 by his local parish priest, the same priest who taught him religion and was his basketball coach.
Upon high school graduation he moved to Texas to pursue a career in the food and hospitality industry. Looking to advance his skills he returned to Western Pennsylvania to further his education at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh. Upon completion of his culinary education he enlisted in the US Navy where he served as a Deck Seaman on the submarine tender, USS Frank Cable. In addition to serving his country, the Navy helped pay for his schooling.
Completing his Naval enlistment he worked as a chef at numerous restaurants. Beginning in his hometown of Johnstown at his family’s tavern before moving on to Annapolis and New York City.
Eventually his pursuit to broaden his culinary skills and business experience led him to positions as a chef and business owner in the US Virgin Islands and Napa Valley, California. Culminating with his own highly acclaimed restaurant in New York City.
Unfortunately in 2012 his past as an abuse survivor resurfaced when the Priest who abused him was featured in a story on the front page of his hometown newspaper. He felt that he no longer could keep silent so he approached a childhood friend that he believed to be abused as well and they went to the district attorney office and filed an abuse report.
Shaun’s case along with a few others from Cambria County were forwarded to the Pennsylvania State Attorney General, and in 2016 the 37th PA Statewide Grand Jury investigation report was released, which revealed ramped child sexual abuse, and the systemic cover up by the Altoona Johnstown Diocese. Shaun became a vocal and effective advocate for all victims of sexual violence and has been fighting for Statutes of Limitations (SOL) reforms in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New York. He has been featured on several national, and international news programs. Shaun resides in Johnstown, PA with his wife D’Arcy.
Jimmy grew up in Shanksville, PA, just one mile from where United 93 crashed on September 11, 2001.
In 2011, one of Jimmy’s sisters confided in him that she had been sexually abused when she was a young child by their father, a former minister of 27 years. Jimmy, also a pastor, reported his father to authorities which ultimately resulted in his confession of 23 victims and a conviction of 30-60 years in Pennsylvania state corrections facility.
Because of Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, a criminal investigation was not allowed to proceed. Had young victims not quickly been discovered, Jimmy’s father would be free today even though the abuse was reported immediately by Jimmy and his mother. Jimmy is dedicated to seeing Pennsylvania open up a window so that the many survivors who know their abusers have access to children can seek justice.
Besides being a full time pastor, Jimmy researches deception techniques of child molesters and specializes in abuse in plain sight. He is a certification specialist with G.R.A.C.E (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) and serves on the board of Porchswing Ministries.
Jimmy loves to spend time with his family and trudges around in the snow barefoot...for fun!
Claire L. Rennie
Claire is the eldest of 3 children raised in a Catholic family from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. She attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and graduated from the Lebanon Catholic High School. Claire has worked in human services with special needs children for the majority of her career. She began her advocacy regarding children at the former Lebanon County Life Support Facility in Lebanon, PA. She then moved on to the Bethany Children’s Home in Womeldorf, PA and then to a foster care agency for medically disable children in Northern Berks County, PA. Claire has been married to her “best friend” Andy for over thirty-three years. They have three children, seven grandchildren, and two dogs. Once her children were grown and began having their own children, Claire decided to stop working and stay home to care for her grandchildren. This was Claire’s way of making sure her grandchildren were safe and being taken care of by someone that would ALWAYS look out for their best interests while her children worked or went to school. It also saved her children money with increasing daycare expenses.
Just before Christmas-2017, Claire & her husband traveled back to his hometown in Cresson, PA. (Cambria County). While visiting friends, Claire found out by shear happenstance that her husband Andy, who was raised in a devout Catholic family and attended Catholic grade school and high school in the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese, was the victim of childhood sexual abuse by two diocesan priests. Although this news answered many questions for Claire regarding her husband, it was the beginning of an absolute nightmare for her. Her attention was then directed solely at her husband and his ongoing recovery. Since then, Claire has been a staunch supporter of SNAP and all victims / families. She has spent countless hours on the phone, on the internet and attending meetings / public events in support of victims & families. Through research and support of other members of SNAP and survivors, Claire was able to successfully find and identify the remaining Catholic Priest that had abused her husband from the age of seven to nine. Claire has spent hundreds of hours talking with the families of other survivors in the hopes of assisting them through the recovery process. Claire has recently decided that her work with those suffering with mental illness would be best. She will be studying to become a Peer Support Counselor while continuing to be an avid supporter of those Pennsylvanian’s that have been abused and continue to be abused. Claire resides in Lancaster County, PA with her husband.