CO- Woman sues Denver priest for sexual assault
For immediate release Wednesday, July 3
Our hearts ache for this brave woman who in her grief over the death of a close friend sought help from Fr. Jose Saenz. Instead of comforting her and helping her to cope Saenz sexually assaulted her. Catholic priests hold themselves out as counselors and spiritual leaders, encouraging Catholics to come to them for guidance. Saenz had both a moral and a civil obligation to protect this vulnerable woman.
We fear that others may have been hurt and are still trapped in silence. We beg anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered Saenz’s crimes to work with law enforcement no matter how old or insignificant they feel their information may be. We also hope that Archbishop Samuel Aquila will use all the resources at his disposal (including diocesan newspaper, website, church bulletins) and to personally visit every parish where Saenz has worked to encourage parishioners, employees and former employees to come forward if they have knowledge about this crime.
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.