More Than Me Founder and CEO Resigns After Rape Investigation
The founder and CEO of More Than Me Katie Meyler has resigned six months after a ProPublica investigation revealed her charity neglected opportunities to prevent a senior staff member from sexually assaulting girls in their care. This employee, one Macintosh Johnson, was an individual with whom Meyler once had an intimate involvement.
Meyler had been on a leave of absence pending the results of three investigations by the charity and the Liberian government into ProPublica’s report. They concluded that Meyler and charity officials gave Johnson influence over vulnerable students, attempted to conceal the level of his abuse and failed to ensure all of his victims were tested after it came out that he had AIDS when he died.
Meyler, who started the charity in 2009 to prevent the sexual exploitation of young girls, announced her departure Friday evening on Facebook.
She claimed the allegations that she knew about the abuse were entirely false, and that when she learned of Johnson’s actions she immediately reported him to the police. He was in jail just four days later.
Regretfully she acknowledged that the incident had attached itself to her and had become a distraction from the mission of the organisation. She resolved to make way for new leadership.
More Than Me sincerely apologized after the publication of ProPublica’s story and documentary film. In a statement, it admitted it’s own part in failing to recognise the clear signs something was wrong. It committed to providing school-wide HIV screening for students at its campus in Monrovia.
The chairman of the American based board of directors, Skip Borghese, also resigned with a second board member and a member of the charity’s Liberian advisory board. Three separate inquiries were declared: One by a committee of American board members, which retained a law firm to conduct an “in-depth, external audit;” one by a panel convened by the charity’s Liberian advisory board; and one declared by the Liberian government, which termed multiple agencies that would participate in its probe.
In an interview this month, Alice Johnson-Howard (Liberian Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection) stated the multi-agency report was still in progress.
More Than Me spokesperson affirmed Meyler’s resignation on Friday and that there would be further information on the charity’s reports next week.