Report: Congressional Contender Heidi St. John Covered Up Sexual Abuse Claims in Homeschool Community
Big League Politics has received a report indicating that Washington state 3rd District GOP primary challenger Heidi St. John covered up sexual abuse claims to protect her homeschool business.
The allegations stem from homeschool movement leaders Paul and Gena Suarez, who are close associates of St. John. The parent of an alleged victim, Jenefer Igarashi, and a former employee of the Suarez’s, Eric Novak, sent a letter to the homeschooling community with damning testimony alleging that the Suarezs covered up for known child molesters.
Suarez is the publisher of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, a self-described “global homeschooling company” that has been called “one of the largest homeschooling magazines in America, and indeed, the world.” When St. John received Novak’s letter, she immediately went into damage-control mode on behalf of the Suarez’s.
“No one asked if we wanted to be named in this letter or if we wanted to join your complaint against Paul and Gena. We do not,” St. John wrote.
The entire callous email written by St. John can be seen here:
Igarashi was not happy with St. John’s attempt to sweep the allegations under the rug, and she responded that she was moving forward regardless of St. John’s complaints.
“The testimony that mentions your name stands as a first person accounts. You will not be asked to be involved with any of the other matters. Of course, if people question you about it, you can always plead the 5th. Other than that, you need not concern yourself with the matter at all,” she wrote.
Igarashi’s reply to St. John can be seen here:
St. John responded that the matter of obtaining justice for these alleged victims, whose stories were reportedly corroborated by 20 witnesses, were a “distraction” that she just hoped to shrug off in order to keep the homeschooling dollars flowing in.
“This is a huge distraction for us in the middle of our busiest season of the year. We have neither the time nor the desire to be part of it. Again, I ask that you honor our request to be removed from your grievance,” she wrote.
St. John’s reply can be seen here:
Igarashi started to become blacklisted from serving as a vendor in homeschooling conventions at this point, and she was told that St. John was responsible for the reprisal over Igarashi speaking out on behalf of victims.
“When I accused Gena [Suarez] of punishing me by having me blocked from this convention, Mr. Gibbs [a convention sponsor] stopped me and said, “Gena didn’t ask to have you blocked. Heidi St John did.” There were a total of five witnesses to that statement. When I asked why in the world Heidi would have anything to say about it, my sister began quoting, verbatim, from a private email I had sent Heidi,” she said.
When the allegations became known within the Washington state homeschool community back in 2014, St. John attacked the whistleblowers and used Christianity as a shield to evade responsibility for the allegations in a statement:
“For more than six months now, a variety of accusations have been swirling within a fringe segment of the homeschool community suggesting that I, along with other respected homeschool leaders, have been involved in a “scandal.”
In a series of increasingly wild allegations, I have been accused of all sorts of terrible things, including causing a homeschool vendor to be disinvited from a homeschool convention.
I did not request anyone be disinvited from a convention. I did not cover up a child abuse scandal. Both of these accusations are completely false.
While the Internet provides a wonderful platform for encouragement and information, I am now learning first-hand that it can also be used to spread false information. It is a place where people of character can have their reputation attacked with little recourse.
Even my blog post has been used against me; proof that words written from a good heart with good intentions can be twisted by a clever wordsmith with evil intentions.
God’s Word is clear:
A tree is known by its fruit.”
Big League Politics has reached out to St. John but has yet to receive any comment from the Congressional candidate. We will continue to follow-up as more information develops about this alleged cover-up.