CT- Oral arguments heard today, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, September 22, 2014
The Connecticut Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in a case that could be monumental for children.
Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair wants to fix what isn't broken and turn back the clock on kids' safety. He's asking the justices to overturn a 12 year old law that protects children by helping child sex abuse victims expose child molesters in court. We desperately hope he loses. If he wins, mothers, fathers, boys, girls, employers, neighbors, police and prosecutors all lose.
If Hartford's archbishop wins, it will be the biggest legal setback for the children's safety movement since
–Wisconsin's 1995 Pritzloff decision which, for years, made it almost impossible for clergy sex abuse victims to file civil lawsuits, no matter how egregious the crimes and cover ups
–Missouri's 1997 Brewer decision, which made it extremely hard for victims to do likewise, and
–the US Supreme Court's 2003 Stogner decision which enabled hundreds of alleged sex offenders – some being investigated, some who were already charged – go free.
Click here for recent coverage of this case.
Here's what we've said about it in the last few days:
We applaud Jacob doe for exposing clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Hartford and for having the courage and strength to endure a trial. We also applaud him for continuing to seek justice, despite delays by Archbishop Blair and his predecessor.
Despite Blair's refusal to accept a jury verdict and let Doe move ahead in his healing, we hope that Doe's bravery and persistence will encourage others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy crimes and cover ups in Connecticut to step forward, get help, and expose wrongdoing by Catholic officials too.
For more info on Blair's abuse and cover up track record in Toledo, click here.
(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 20,000 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 website is SNAPnetwork.org)
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.