For immediate release: Friday, May 30, 2014
Statement by Melanie Sakoda of Moraga, CA, East Bay Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A former Catholic school teacher was convicted yesterday of three felony counts for having sex with a 14-year-old student. We are grateful for this verdict and hope he will receive the maximum prison sentence of four years and four months. The longer he is kept in prison and away from kids, the safer they will be.
We are thankful that this little girl had the courage to testify against her abuser in court.
Hopefully, knowing that she has been heard and believed, will be an important step in her healing process.
Ricardo Aldana, who taught Spanish at JSerra High School and who was also South County girls’ volleyball coach, was found guilty after a jury trial. The 40 year old teacher was acquitted on four other counts and will be sentenced on July 11th. While Aldana had been free on bail since his arrest in 2011, he was handcuffed and taken into custody after the verdict.
Hopefully, this verdict will inspire others who may have been hurt by Aldana to step forward, expose wrongdoing and start healing. We also plead with those who may have witnessed or suspected abuse by the former teacher and coach to speak up. It's never too late to share what you know or believe about child sexual abuse with police, prosecutors and the public.
(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 18,000 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 membership also includes those who were abused in other types of organizations, such as the Boy Scouts or sports teams. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)