CAN - Accused predator priest has court hearing today; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, September 6, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Father Damian Cooper, an accused predator Catholic priest, is expected to be in the Vancouver, BC courthouse (800 Smith Street) today.
An abuse and cover up lawsuit involving him was filed in December 2012 alleging that he sexually abused a teenage girl in the late 1980s to early 1990s. And an application was filed August 8th requesting the BC Supreme Court to order Vancouver Catholic officials to produce documents pertaining to Cooper’s crimes.
No matter how today’s hearing turns out, we hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Cooper or cover ups by Catholic officials will step forward. Staying silent only helps those who commit and conceal child sex crimes.
We also hope they’ll contact the independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased bureaucrats in church offices.
Cooper is a priest of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, British Columbia, but also worked in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, a pattern we’ve seen time and time and time again – proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting Catholic clerics being sent to other nations.
His trial date is set for September 29, 2014 and is estimated to take roughly 20 days.
Cooper was ordained in 1986.
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.