Excitement over the upcoming Jeepers Creepers 3 has been tempered by the deplorable past of writer/director Victor Salva. The issues has divided horror fans; while some feel Salva has served his time and deserves a chance to continue his life, others believe his crimes are unforgivable and paying to see his films is a tacit dismissal of the devastation cause by childhood sexual abuse.
[For a summary of writer/director Victor Salva’s criminal past and why many horror fans are choosing to boycott Jeepers Creepers 3, follow the link at the bottom of the article.]
Related Article: Here’s What We Know So Far about the Origins of “The Creeper”
I’ve often stated that the person whose opinion matters most is that of Salva’s victim-turned-survivor; Nathan Forrest Winters played Casey in Clownhouse, which Salva wrote and directed in 1989. Winters was only 10-years-old when his abuse was finally discovered. He recently released a message, one that extensively addresses his feelings about being a survivor, and his plans to spread his message of vigilance and education. You can read his entire statement below.
Hello, this is Nathan Forrest Winters. You may know me from my role as Casey in the 1987 film Clownhouse. I am a sexual abuse survivor. For six years of my childhood I was molested by writer/director Victor Salva, who I starred in two films by. Victor is best known for the ‘Jeepers Creepers’ franchise and Powder.
Towards the end of ’87 he was arrested on eleven counts of sexual abuse on me and others, convicted on four of the less severe. He was sentenced to three years in prison, for which he served a mere eighteen months in a rehabilitation facility in Napa Valley, California. A three-year sentence, eighteen months served, for crimes it took him six years to commit.
I am currently outlining a nationwide speaking tour at various key and pertinent venues to raise awareness, educate and provide information and tools to stop sexual child abuse at all levels. The entire process will be documented for a film about my story conceived and helmed by my partner, filmmaker Connar Frazier. The film will show my journey from victim to survivor. It is my belief that we as a whole in this country have been too afraid to face such an unspeakable topic and continue to turn a blind eye, which has allowed these predators of our children to go unchecked for too long.
Just a few of many disturbing facts; every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Every 8 minutes that victim is a child. Meanwhile only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators is convicted. United victims and survivors, parents and children can make this world safer. Education is prevention and the more light we shed on this darkest of crimes, the fewer shadows there will be for them to hide.