IL--New pedophile priest is exposed
New pedophile priest is exposed
Child sex abuse and cover up suit filed
Alleged predator now lives in Aurora
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
--disclose a just-filed child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against Rockford Catholic officials and
--urge anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” the accused cleric’s crimes to call police.
They will also prod local Catholic officials to
--use parish bulletins, church website and pulpit announcements to seek out “victims, witnesses and whistleblowers,” and
--turn over all files about the cleric to law enforcement so that he might be “prosecuted, convicted and kept away from kids.”
Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 11:00 a.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Rockford Catholic diocese headquarters (“chancery” office), 555 Colman Center Drive (corner of Corporate Dr.) Rockford, IL
An attorney and two-three adults who were abused as kids by clerics and who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s founder and president
A man who grew up in Aurora is filing a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against a priest, Fr. John C. Holdren, who has never been publicly accused of abuse. The cleric is believed to live in Aurora but not work as a priest now.
Between 1972 and 1973, a boy, then 7 to 9 years old, “was sexually assaulted” by Fr. Holdren at St. Rita’s of Cascia parish in Aurora. The acts included ”inappropriately rubbing, groping, and fondling his genitals, masturbation, anal sex, and other unwanted sexual advances,” according to the suit. The priest “manipulated the emotions of the (boy),” grooming him and gaining “control and obedience over him, thus ensuring silence by the victim” and “creating an environment of confusion, guilt, shame, and other emotional disorders Church officials, the suit says, “knew or should have known of the dangers presented by Fr. Holdren but (failed) to adopt precautionary procedures” and “facilitated and enabled” the priest’s crimes.
The suit charges that Catholic officials in Rockford and elsewhere “were aware since at least the 1950's” of “a disturbing number” of clergy sex abuse cases but “allowed (abuse) to occur by making fraudulent representations, concealing criminal activity, obstructing justice and criminal investigations, evading civil and/or criminal liability, and by inculcating parishioners to keep their scandals secret through the guise of religious teachings and spiritual instruction and counseling.”
SNAP will prod Bishop David Malloy to “aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Holdren’s crimes and beg them to call law enforcement” using “church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements.”
According to the Official Catholic Directory, Fr. Holdren was ordained in 1971 and worked at three Rockford diocesan churches: St. Rita's (1972-1981), St. Peter's in Geneva (1982-1983) and St. John the Baptist in Johnsburg (1984-1994). From 1995 to 1999, he was “on sick leave” and from 2000-2005, he was “absent on leave.” After 2006, Fr. Holdren was not indexed in the directory.
The current pastor of St. Rita's of Cascia is Fr. Oscar Cortes (630-892-5918). The current pastor of St. Peter's is Fr. Martins Emeh (630-232-0124). The current pastor of St. John the Baptist is Fr. Jacek Junak (815-385-1477).
The victim, identified only as John Doe JP, is now 49 and lives in Maryland. His attorney is Tim Frieberg of Rockford (217 801 2733, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.freiberglaw.com/), who has handled numerous similar cases in the past.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Winnebago County Court, seeks damages of more than $50,000.
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.
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.