KY- Western KY priest is sentenced, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Thursday, August 7, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A Kentucky priest, who pled guilty to child sexual abuse, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison and must register as a sex offender. We are glad that he will be going to prison, but believe he should have received a harsher punishment.
We are grateful to the victims of Fr. Louis Francis Piskula who stepped forward and worked with law enforcement. When victims stay silent, nothing changes. But when victims find the courage to take action, there's at least a chance for prevention, healing and justice.
We urge Kentucky Catholic officials to visit every parish where Piskula worked and beg anyone who saw, suspect, or suffered child sex crimes to come forward and report abuse. It is never too late to speak up.
(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 20,000 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.