For immediate release: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Statement by Joelle Casteix, Southern California Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949-322-7434, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A former government chief, who resigned from his position after sexual misconduct allegations, has been sued for child sex abuse from when he was a priest. We are glad that victims are being given a voice and grateful they are speaking up.
As this lawsuit moves forward, we hope more information will be revealed about how Marc Alexander was able to keep his position as Homeless Coordinator, despite an email warning of the sexual misconduct allegations against him and despite being removed as a priest in 2011.
Alexander was accused of sexual misconduct with a woman while he was a Catholic priest. We want to know why the Governor’s office did not act immediately after receiving warnings about Alexander. He was allowed to resign for “personal matters” a year later after the allegations were threatened to be made public.
According to the email that was sent the diocese was aware of the allegations and the staff at the governor’s office assumed someone else would handle the situation. It is wrong and dangerous to pass the buck on sexual abuse allegations.
We applaud the courageous survivor who filed this complaint for coming forward and taking this action in the interest of truth, justice, and the protection of children.
While we are grateful for the 2-year window during which Hawaii lifted the statute of limitations for such crimes - a window that has allowed this case to move forward - we believe sexual crimes against children should carry no statute of limitations whatsoever.
Regardless of such limitations, we urge anyone who has suffered, witnessed or suspects similar crimes to come forward and contact secular authorities.
(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 15,000 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)
I think it is possible that any government official might have leanings towards “cow-towing” to the catholic church, instead of strenuously upholding U.S. secular, civil and penal laws, in these matters. I think it is right for SNAP members to criticize both the catholic church and the Hawaiian governor and his office for mishandling this accused perpetrator.