CA - Victims Reach Settlement with Christian Brothers
For immediate release:
Friday, Dec. 24, 2004
For more information:
David Clohessy 314-566-9790
Boys Were Assaulted by Separate School Employees
Support Group Wants Names of Perpetrators Made Public
Leaders of a local self-help group for clergy sex abuse victims are applauding today the settlement of a three civil child sexual molestation lawsuits against a religious order in California. But they are calling upon church officials to publicly name the abusers.
Today's San Francisco Chronicle reports that three male victims have reached an agreement with the Christian Brothers, who operate De La Salle High School in Concord where much of the abuse took place. But the names of the three molesters, who were employees of the school, have not been made public.
"We hope this agreement helps these brave men achieve some degree of healing and closure,"said David Clohessy of St. Louis. He is the national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a support group. "We are grateful they found the courage and strength to report these crimes, seek justice in the courts, and educate others about these horrific betrayals."
Still, Clohessy said he hopes the Christian Brothers will "let parents and the public know who these dangerous men are, so that children can be protected." Most abusive clergy, he said, do not end up behind bars. "So as long as a molesters walks the streets and no one knows, kids are at risk," he said.
The lawsuits were filed in December 2003, The crimes occured in the 1970s and 1980s, at the school and on trips away from the school.
Each of the victims were given marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, or quaaludes by their molesters during or before the crimes took place.
"We understand that during negotiations, the Christian Brothers disclosed some long-hidden documents about these terrible crimes," said Clohessy. "They should be commended for so. Many victims can't really recover and many parents can't safeguard their kids unless the full truth about abuser and those who shielded them is revealed."
SNAP leaders are urging others who have been molested by Christian Brothers or other area clerics to contact their self-help group, law enforcement officials or therapists.
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.