KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests gathered outside the Kansas City Police Department downtown on Thursday morning to protest against a KCPD chaplain.
Protesters alleged the chaplain sexually abused young girls at a church where he was a pastor. The protesters held signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference and demanded that the police department carefully vet future candidates for positions. FOX4 spoke with the chaplain in question.
"Hopefully we can put this behind us and I can continue to serve," said Reverend Stanley Archie.
The pastor, therapist and police chaplain is defending himself as decade-old allegations of sexual misconduct led to the new calls for his removal.
Rev. Archie leads an inner-city Baptist church and has worked alongside Kansas City police officers as a chaplain the past 10 years.
The SNAP activists hope to see the reverend removed from two public posts.
"Essentially having Stan Archie as a police chaplain is going to deter victims of rape or sexual misconduct from picking up the phone or calling 911 and ultimately that makes everyone less safe," said David Clohessy, St. Louis volunteer for SNAP.
During FOX4's "Working for Blue" campaign, we introduced you to KCPD chaplains, including Rev. Archie.
As the department acknowledges, chaplains are unpaid volunteers, who work alongside officers to provide moral and spiritual support, and don't participate in investigations.
Still, KCPD spokesperson Jake Becchina said, "the Kansas City Missouri Police Department takes accusations of this nature very seriously. We are now reviewing the matter and investigating internally. This chaplain has been part of KCPD’s program for approximately 10 years."
Rev. Archie has taken great pride in being a chaplain.
"I think it's been a value what I could offer the police officers on a regular basis," he said.
He says problems first surfaced 15 years ago when there were some challenges with a church staff member and her husband. Around the same time, he was counseling a troubled 15-year-old girl. The couple and the teen both filed lawsuits more than a decade later, accusing him of sexual misconduct.
"We've spoken to the victims and they are very, very credible young women," said Clohessy.
But the courts did not agree. One lawsuit was dismissed. The other went to trial and the jury split, finding no sexual misconduct but agreeing the victim suffered personal damage and awarded her $350,000.
"It's a shame how an accusation that I've done something wrong overshadows the consistent effort to do things right," Rev. Archie said.
Activists argue those accusations are reason enough that Rev. Archie should not be a chaplain or serve on the city's planning commission.
"Ultimately, how is the police department going to look if there's another accusation of sexual misconduct against Rev. Archie and the police chief has to say, 'Yeah, we knew two other women had accused him in the past'?" Clohessy said.
Rev. Archie says he's faced three investigations through his church, private investigators, and during the lawsuit, turning over countless documents and having computers searched. He's never faced criminal charges related to the allegations.
"To try to rehash something that I was already exonerated for and to decide my life should be destroyed because of accusations, not anything accurate, I just can't express the frustration, especially when I'm trying to do things I think are beneficial to our society," said Rev. Archie.
Rev. Archie tells FOX4 he's looking forward to having his name cleared once again and hopes to finally have all this behind him.