CA - Judge rules against predator priest, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 3
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
We are grateful that a judge ruled today against a predator priest who claimed his abuse admission should not be heard as evidence in a criminal case.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene L. Balonon today rejected a motion by Fr. Uriel Ojeda that Ojeda’s acknowledgement of heinous crimes should be kept from jurors.
Time and time again, child molesting clerics admit their crimes to colleagues or police, then later claim they were coerced or that their admissions should be kept secret. Time and time again, Catholic officials abuse the ‘priest-penitent privilege’ to hide their hurtful deeds.
We are glad this judge didn’t buy the spurious claim that Fr. Ojeda expected his admission of child sex crimes should be kept private.
Still, no one should be complacent. Complacency protects no one. Only vigilance and courage protects kids.
So anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Ojeda’s crimes must speak up. Every single person who has knowledge or suspicions of Fr. Ojeda’s misdeeds has a moral and civic duty to call police and prosecutors today, so that he might be convicted and children might be safeguarded.
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.