GA--Victim of pedophile priest speaks for first time
Last month, man reached $4.5 million settlement
The convicted child molester now lives in Maryland
But he spent years in Georgia working in five towns
Group wants Savannah bishop to “do aggressive outreach”
“With some effort, pedophile might be locked up again,” SNAP says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a Georgia man who was repeatedly molested as a boy by the state’s most notorious pedophile priest will speak publicly for the first time about his experiences and his sizeable settlement last month with Savannah Catholic officials. He’ll be joined by his attorney.
And clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
--blast Catholic officials in four states for their handling of the priest,
--urge them to “do aggressive outreach” so he might be prosecuted again, and--beg anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered his crimes” to call police or prosecutors immediately.
Wednesday, August 10 at 11:00 a.m. in Savannah GA
On the sidewalk outside Savannah Catholic diocesan headquarters, 2170 East Victory Drive in Savannah
Three-four individuals who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including
--the victim in the recent settlement,
--another victim of that predator priest,
--a Georgia attorney, and
--a Missouri woman who is the organization’s long time outreach director
For the first time, a Georgia man, Chris Templeton, who was molested by an infamous, still-living predator priest will speak publicly about his pain and the $4.5 million settlement he reached last month with Savannah Catholic officials. http://wsav.com/2016/07/06/catholic-diocese-settles-sex-abuse-lawsuit-for-4-5-million/
He will prod others with information or suspicions about the pedophile priest to call law enforcement. Since South Carolina has no criminal statute of limitations on child sex crimes, and since the priest spent time in several states, Templeton and SNAP believe he might face criminal prosecution again.
Fr. Wayland Yoder Brown is one of the most notorious child molesting clerics in the US, SNAP says. Even while he was a seminarian, then-Bishop Raymond Lessard was warned about Brown (yet ordained him anyway). In his very first assignment, in 1969, Fr. Brown’s bosses heard reports of his abuse. Yet for decades, they continued to hide his crimes and quietly transfer him to unsuspecting parishes where he kept on assaulting kids, SNAP charges.
In the 1980s, he was secretly sent for treatment at St. Luke's, a church-run center in Maryland. In 2002, he pled guilty to abusing two boys in 1974 in Washington DC. Fr. Brown was sentenced to ten years in prison in Maryland and was released in 2008.
In a July, SNAP blasted Savannah Bishop Gregory Hartmayer for a news release in which he made no mention of the possibility that there are others who were molested by Fr. Brown are still suffering in shame, silence and self-blame. Shame on Bishop Hartmayer. “He’s acting more like a cold-hearted CEO than a caring shepherd,” the group maintains.
“We call on Catholic bishops in Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina and the District of Columbia to use their vast resources to seek out and help other victims of Fr. Brown,” said SNAP’s Barbara Dorris. “They should use parish bulletins, church websites, pulpit announcements and news conferences to beg anyone with information or suspicions about this dangerous predator to step forward. And they should use these same resources to warn families who are near Brown now about him.”
Brown, now 72, lives in Baltimore, according to the Maryland Sex Offender Registry:
Earlier this year, SNAP released a long-secret, four-page transcript of a meeting of four top Georgia Catholic officials about law enforcement inquiries into Fr. Brown’s crimes. During the meeting, Fr. Brown admits having “touched” boys. He also discloses that in one church assignment he “avoided that kind of thing” but in another he “did not” and admits taking an Albany GA boy on a trip to Atlanta.
Allan Ranta will also be present at the news conference. He was also abused by Fr. Brown and in 2009, he settled his civil suit against church officials for $4.24 million. At that time, this was the fifth largest individual abuse settlement with a Catholic institution.
Brown was assigned to five church positions in Georgia towns, including Camilla, Augusta, Savannah, Moultrie and Isle of Hope. In Maryland, he worked in Gaithersburg and Silver Spring.
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.