CA--Victims urge outreach by Oakland/San Jose bishops in case of recently exposed predator priest, again demand abuser names be made public
For immediate release: Tuesday, March 22, 2016
In a lawsuit filed recently in the state of Texas Father Milton Eggerling was accused of child sexual abuse for the first time in public. The priest was accused of molesting an altar boy in Austin in the 1970s, beginning when the boy was 11 and continuing for five years.
The attorney for the victim, Tahira Khan Merritt, said that Eggerling, who was ordained in 1954, was a priest for a long time and likely had more victims. She also said that her client filed the lawsuit hoping that others would come forward.
Eggerling worked for many years under the supervision of the Dioceses of Oakland and of San Jose. All of the parishes in the Oakland Diocese where Eggerling worked also had attached schools.
1970-1971: Saint Felicitas, San Leandro, Diocese of Oakland
1971-1973: Corpus Christi, Piedmont, Diocese of Oakland
1979-1983: Providence Hospital, Oakland, Diocese of Oakland
1983-1984: Saint Augustine, Oakland, Diocese of Oakland
1984-1987: Our Lady of the Rosary, Palo Alto, Diocese of San Jose
1991-1993: Saint Patrick, Rodeo, Diocese of Oakland
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, wants the bishops in both dioceses to “aggressively seek out other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers,” and “beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Eggerling’s crimes to report to the police.” They are also renewing their earlier demand that the two bishops release the names of predator priests.
Tim Lennon, the SNAP Director for San Francisco, noted that, in addition to the allegations in Texas, there are red flags in Eggerling’s work history.
“Just like the priests exposed in the Spotlight investigation by the Boston Globe, Father Eggerling had frequent assignment changes, including periods of time where he was removed from parish work completely, as well as a mysterious one year gap where he was on ‘special assignment.’”
Melanie Jula Sakoda, the East Bay Director of SNAP, added. “Tim and I recently asked the Dioceses of Oakland and San Jose to open up their abuse files, report criminal behavior to the police and let the public know who the abusers are, and where they are now. This case is a prime example of what kind of information might still be hidden in those files.”
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
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.
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.