Church seeks 19 year old victim’s records
- Church seeks 19 year old victim’s records
- Catholic officials try new hardball tactic again
- It’s the 1st time here & only 2nd time in SNAP’s history
- Predator priest, now allegedly “missing,” was convicted years before
- But archdiocese put him back into a parish & kept him on duty til 2002
- Now, archbishop wants thousands of pages of other “private” documents
Holding signs and childhood pictures at a sidewalk news conference, SNAP leaders will disclose that
-- for the first time ever, St. Louis Catholic officials are now trying to force them to violate privacy of victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, police, prosecutors, journalists and others who seek SNAP’s consolation and help, and
-- for the second time ever, one of SNAP’s three professional staff has been subpoenaed and ordered to face questioning by church defense lawyers.
The case involves a 19 year old who was repeatedly sexually assaulted as a girl in 2000 by a priest who’d pled guilty to molesting a boy years earlier.
The victims will also
--pledge to do “everything possible” to protect the privacy of “every single man, woman and teenager who contacts us for help,” and
--blast St. Louis’ Archbishop Robert Carlson for using “extreme and mean-spirited legal maneuvers” to “deter others from getting help, calling police and protecting kids”
TODAY, Wednesday, January 5, 1:00 p.m.
Outside St. Cronan’s Parish at 1203 South Boyle Avenue (corner of Swan Avenue) in Saint Louis
Two-four clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a confidential support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
For the second time in recent weeks – and only the second time in the group’s 23 year existence, a SNAP staff member has been subpoenaed in a civil child sex abuse case against a predator Catholic priest and corrupt Catholic officials.
This time, it’s the St. Louis archdiocese seeking thousands of pages of records going back 23 years including the private communications of a 19 year old girl who was sexually assaulted by Fr. Joseph D. Ross.
Despite having pled guilty in 1988 to sexually assaulting an 11 year old boy, Ross was working in an inner city parish (St. Cronan’s) as recently as 2002.
Earlier this week, SNAP tried – but failed - to stop SNAP director David Clohessy from being deposed in a similar case in Kansas City involving Fr. Michael Tierney (who faces five civil child sex abuse lawsuits).
The group calls these moves “an unprecedented, bullying maneuver designed to protect child molesters and silence victims” and “a cruel attack" to violate the privacy of - and learn the names of - victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, journalists, police, prosecutors, donors and others” who seek SNAP’s help.
In both cases, SNAP blames the head of each diocese – Robert Finn and Robert Carlson. SNAP is not even a party to neither the Ross nor the Tierney lawsuits.
St. Louis attorney Bernie Huger represents the St. Louis archdiocese. KC attorney Brian Madden represents Tierney.
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.