IL - Ex-Granite City priest is “credibly accused” of abuse; SNAP responds
For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014
We are glad that Catholic officials have admitted that child sex abuse allegations against a priest who worked in Granite City are “credible.” Now, it’s time that they try to get Fr. Robert DeGrand criminally prosecuted, instead of trying to handle these serious accusations “in house.”
Springfield Catholic officials claim that Fr. DeGrand’s alleged crimes happened long ago. That may be true. But it’s exceedingly rare that a child molester only molests once. And Springfield’s bishop has plenty of resources – parish bulletins, pulpit announcements and a public relations staff – that he could use to beg others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. DeGrand’s crimes to call police. He could immediately give Fr. DeGrand’s personnel files to prosecutors in each of the dozen towns where he’s worked.
But that won’t happen. Why? Because Catholic officials still do the absolute bare minimum and handle child sex abuse reports internally.
So we in SNAP beg anyone who may have knowledge of or suspicions about Fr. DeGrand’s crimes or misdeeds to take a simple but courageous step forward. We beg them to call police, prosecutors, therapists or support groups like ours. We beg them to end their silence, because silence only helps those who commit and conceal child sex crimes.
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.