CA- Ex-LA predator priests among 7 suspended in Mexico
For immediate release: Friday, June 20, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A priest who worked in and was sued in Los Angeles for child sex crimes has quietly been working in Mexico but was recently suspended by his bishop.
Fr. Jeffrey Newell is one of seven Tijuana priests who have been temporarily ousted for alleged child sexual abuse.
It's tragic that this predator priest has apparently struck again. It's even more tragic because these devastating crimes could have been prevented if only Catholic officials in Los Angeles and Mexico had acted responsibly. They have many resources – parish bulletins, websites and pulpit announcements – that they could and should have used to warn families about Fr. Newell.
Fr. Newell should have never been given a church job in Mexico. At the least, he should have been suspended – if not defrocked – years ago. Catholic bishops in both places should be ashamed of themselves for knowingly letting this dangerous cleric be around children.
We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Newell's crimes will speak up, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have 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.
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.