James Short Investigation: New Details

David Greer, alleged victim
David Greer, alleged victim

We have new details on a story we first brought you on Thursday.  The Arkansas State Police are investigating former Brookland teacher and church youth minister James Short.  Last week an Alabama man contacted 7th and Mueller Church of Christ in Paragould with sexual abuse allegations against Short from thirty years ago.

Now, another man is coming forward from that same time period.  The men who have contacted us attended the same church as young boys and now almost thirty years later are speaking out about things they say happened to them.

A little over a week ago, former Alabama resident David Greer made contact with a man he hasn't talked to in about thirty years after reading an internet blog about a troubling childhood experience.

"A gentleman that I had known back as a child had written in and expressed how he and his brother were sexually abused at this church and it was the same time frame that I went to church there," said Greer.

Greer said he and Alabama resident Jim Higginbotham attended the same church in Alabama.  This all happened when Greer read Higginbotham's blog about his brother's abuse.  He said they discovered they were talking about the same man who they say is James Short of Paragould.

"I thought I was an isolated case and had never had any reason to think otherwise until I read this blog and we started comparing notes and realized that we were talking about the same person," said Greer.

"Greer said he was about 12-years-old when his alleged event happened.

"There had been a very minor incident that had happened with me where I went with two of the church members down to the church camp... just us three during the winter, and when I woke up the next morning I was being fondled by one of them," said Greer.  "I brought it to his attention and he just brushed it off with, 'I thought I was with my wife', and I was twelve at the time."

"Jim Short's sister is good friends with one of my aunt's that's still alive back in Alabama, and I knew that I could find him pretty quickly and as soon as I relayed that information to Mr. Higginbotham, Jim Higginbotham, he e-mailed the elders of the church and they acted immediately," said Greer.

As we reported on Thursday, James Short has resigned his position at 7th and Mueller Church of Christ in Paragould after being called in by the church leaders after an e-mail was sent to the church by Higginbotham.

Currently Short is being investigated in Arkansas by the Criminal Investigation Division of the state police and that's what Greer said he and the other alleged victim want to see.

"If someone comes forward now with legitimate allegations that can be proven and we can get him to admit to it, then he might see some jail time and we will remove him from society as a threat," said Greer.

The police are still in the very early stages of their investigation.   There is no proof of any wrongdoing by Short in this community.

"Our hope is to maybe draw people out that would be too embarrassed to say anything, that think maybe they did something wrong," said Greer.  "Anyone who has touched you inappropriately, who has coerced you into doing things you know you shouldn't have done and you're afraid to come forward, just remember that there are a lot of people that want to help."

We have tried to make contact with James Short this week and our calls have gone unreturned.