IL- Chicago university insists on hiring sexual harasser
For immediate release: Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A Chicago Catholic university is confirming today that it still is hiring the most recent U.S. ambassador to the Vatican despite allegations that he “likely” recently sexually harassed a married couple. This is a stunningly reckless move.
Miguel H. Diaz will start as a professor at Loyola University on July 1. The university says it conducted its own review into the allegations and decided to move forward with hiring Diaz.
We strongly urge Loyola University officials to reverse this irresponsible decision. At a bare minimum, we believe students, staff and the public have a right to know how university officials allegedly conducted their “review” and who was involved in it. We urge students and staff at Loyola to insist on this transparency.
No students and staff at any college should be subjected to sexual harassment. Given the findings of University of Dayton officials, Diaz does not belong on any campus.
This case is similar to one at Adrian College, a Methodist school in Michigan. Adrian officials hired Thomas Hodgman as a professor, despite his sworn admission that he sexually abused a teenaged high school girl, and despite allegations that he impregnated her, gave her a sexually transmitted disease and molested two other girls. One of Hodgman's victims, Joelle Casteix, won a $1.6 million settlement. But Hodgman still teaches at Adrian today.
How can universities continue to be so careless about the safety of their students and staff?
(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 18,000 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.