Accused priest may be in court today
- Accused priest may be in court today
- He’s the 3rd alleged Sac predator priest in 6 months
- Victims blast Catholic officials for tolerating “bullying”
- SNAP: He lets church staff & members “intimidate” others
- They want Bishop Soto to discipline a local pastor for his court actions
- Group begs victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to “come forward now”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will urge Sacramento’s Catholic bishop to
--stop parishioners from publicly rallying around accused pedophile priests,
--teach his flock how to respond appropriately when abuse allegations surface, and
--aggressively seek out others who’ve been victimized by three recently-accused clerics
--a priest who may be in court today and who is accused of molesting a girl (s)
--a recently-suspended Jesuit priest who also reported molested a girl, and
--an Irish priest accused of molesting boys and who was extradited to his home country.
The victims will also urge
--Sacramento’s bishop to discipline a local pastor who lead courthouse prayers two weeks ago for an arrested predator priest, and
--anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes - by these clerics or others - to call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
Monday, December 19 at 1:30 p.m.
Outside the diocese headquarters/chancery office, 2110 Broadway (near 21st Street), in Sacramento
Two-three clergy abuse victims who belong to an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
In the last six month, three Sacramento priests have been accused, arrested or extradited for sexually abusing kids. (One of them, Fr. Uriel Ojeda, may be in court again today. He was ordained just four years ago.)
SNAP wants Bishop Jaime Soto to forbid church-goers from publicly rallying around accused clerics because that intimidates victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from coming forward, getting help, and contacting law enforcement. Soto should teach Catholics how to support accused priests privately and show empathy for the victims, SNAP says.
The gorup also want Soto to personally visit each place where each of these three priests worked, begging victims and witnesses to call police with any information they may have about their crimes. Finally, they’re also urging Soto to discipline Fr. Rodolfo Llamas, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic church in Elk Grove. Llamas led prayers in the courthouse just two weeks ago on behalf of Ojeda.
Ojeda may be in court again today. He’s charged with seven counts of lewd behavior with a girl under the age of 14 and is being held on $5 million bail. Ojeda worked at churches in Redding and Woodland.
Earlier this month, roughly 40 parishioners showed up and the courthouse praying for himhttp://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-district-attorney-details-molestation-charges-against-priest-20111202,0,6897476.story
In October, another Sacramento priest, Fr. William Feeser, was accused of abusing a teen girl while at Our Lady of Assumption Church in the 1980s. Diocese officials quietly removed the priest and said that they made only a verbal announcement at the priest's current parish. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/09_10/2011_10_24_Garza_SacramentoCatholic.htm To adhere to their own promises of transparency, victims say, diocese officials must reach out verbally and in writing to potential victims at every location where Feeser worked and in all diocese-wide publications.
In June, former Sacramento priest Fr. Patrick Joseph McCabe was extradited to Ireland, where he faced criminal charged of child sex abuse from the 1970s. http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-06-08/bay-area/29632591_1_extradition-appeal-irish-police-ireland. Four victims have come forward to name McCabe as their abuser.http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_19535839. McCabe was at a hospital in Sacramento in the late 1986.
Ojeda is represented by attorney Jesse Ortiz. The McCabe victims are represented by Sacramento attorney Dr. Joseph C. George Sr. (916 442 7100, email@example.com) So far, as best SNAP can tell, there is no civil lawsuit against Fr. Ojeda (only criminal charges).
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.