In June 2014, Joe Mauk attempted to arrange a meeting with Joe Coffey. It took some effort, as the CCC email server would not allow his messages. He eventually reached Coffey through an intermediary. Coffey’s response was to decline the meeting.
Email from Joe Mauk to Joe Coffey (June 2, 2014) [PDF]
Hello Pastor Joe,
I will be attending a family reunion for my mom’s side relatives near Cincinnati June 28. I intend to visit my dad’s side cousin Melanie Wasson and her husband, Kenny, prior to heading to Cincy. I thought it might be useful to meet with you if you are interested in such a meeting.
There would be two major reasons a meeting might be useful. One is that there has been much said about me by you and members of your church who have heard from Tom a report of my “betrayal” of him. Much of what has been spread is simply not true. I very much appreciated a call from Jim Sankey when this situation first exploded. Whether believed or not it was nice to be able to share my perspective on events. As I shared with Jim, this entire situation is incredibly sad. None of us who have reported information desire for the things to be true. Everyone works from basic presuppositions in analyzing situations and making decisions. We who have done what we consider responsible reporting have worked on the presupposition that 97% of the time children making reports of sexual abuse are telling the truth. Tom has sadly acted from the presupposition that nothing could be wrong with Toto. CCC has acted from the presupposition that Tom is telling the truth. And I don’t blame you for this as I certainly, prior to this situation, have had no reason to doubt Tom’s integrity and truthfulness.
My first email to Tom reporting things that had been reported to a teacher, and then to my daughter, mentioned that I would have preferred to go to states and enlist your help in informing Tom of this together. I knew it would be crushing for him to know that Toto had been deceiving both of us for so many years. However it is now obvious that even if you and I had gone to him together, he already was prepared with a line of defense for Toto, and he would not have received the reports as valid. And he continues to disregard so many reports and categorizes them as rumors and gossip, jealousy and vendettas.
So my first concern would be to give you an opportunity to hear the side of those who acted to pass on the reports of abuse to those who could act on them.
My second concern is for our mutual longtime dear friend and brother, Tom. He has always valued my analytical ability and has counted on my recommendations in handling many problems in the past. This time there has been an amazing rejection and denial of the truth of my reports and, further, an assignment to me of diabolical motivations which don’t exist.
The strength of his denial and his recruiting of his army of support network to come to his aid is very unfortunate. He is trying to transfer his considerable reputation of personal integrity to Toto, and he has been successful in part. However, truth can not stay hidden forever. Abuse was happening routinely at Sankey and, even if successful in hiding it now, it will come out sooner or later. The kids who began giving reports will give them again some day. Those abused by Toto and Jake will tell their stories sooner or later. It is the pattern in these institutional abuse situations. The next tragedy beyond that the actual abuse happened, is that Tom and all those he has convinced to support him, will be shown to have been strongly defending the abusers rather than hearing the statements of the abused. It may be that Tom is emotionally/psychologically unable to accept the depth of betrayal that Toto has perpetrated on him. This is where he may need the emotional and spiritual support from the pastoral concern and counsel of a longtime trusted friend as yourself. If meeting with you could help with your pastoral counsel of Tom, I would then be in favor of such. I am not really interested in a protracted debate on a “he said-you said” basis. I am very concerned for my friend, who no longer claims me as a friend, to be freed from the snare in which he is becoming entangled.
Email from Joe Coffey to Joe Mauk (June 5, 2014) [PDF]
I appreciate your offer to get together. I forwarded your email to some of our Elders and frankly we don’t understand the purpose of the meeting. It doesn’t seem like your desire is to reconcile with a Christian brother. Instead it sounds like you want to go over exactly what you told the press here in Ohio. To rehash old ground doesn’t seem to serve any God-honoring purpose.
Please don’t assume we are relying on presuppositions. We have followed the investigation and the charges very closely.
We trust that the authorities are doing a thorough investigation into the situation and our prayer is that the truth is revealed.
If you have something to add to what you previously stated please let us know. Otherwise we prefer to decline your invitation.