MA- Predator priest case dropped on technicality, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Monday, June 2, 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 child sex case against a predator priest who is in Billerica has been dropped because of a legal technicality. We urge Cardinal Sean O'Malley to take aggressive steps to find and help others the priest has hurt.
Fr. Renald C. Hallee is accused of abusing a girl while he was a priest in Maine. He was later defrocked, but was still allowed to be a church volunteer and chaperone teenagers on trips. He was found to be working in Boston in 2012.
We applaud Christine Angell for her courage and persistence in seeking justice and exposing wrong-doing. If not for her brave and responsible actions, Fr. Hallee would likely still be working in a Catholic parish among unsuspecting families and perhaps sexually assaulting more kids.
We are disappointed by the Maine court decision. It is yet another example of why statute of limitations in child sex crimes should be eliminated. Those archaic laws only help predators and hurt victims.
We hope victims and whistleblowers will not lose courage because of the court’s ruling. We will never stop fighting to change or eliminate the archaic statute of limitations for child sex crimes. Several states have already made changes to this law.
We beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Hallee's crimes to call law enforcement so that other kids might be spared the horror of child sexual abuse.
(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.