Media Statements

MI -- Obwaka rape case goes to trial: SNAP responds

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda, SNAP Volunteer Board Member (925-708-6175melanie.sakoda@gmail.com)

No one is immune from sexual assault, even clergymen.

A 28-year-old priest with the Diocese of Gaylord testified recently that another priest, Father Sylvestre Obwaka, raped him.  The unnamed clergyman had known Obwaka since he was a teen, and had a “working relationship” with him. The case is going to trial, despite the fact that both priests had been drinking together. Obwaka’s defense attorney says that both of the men were adults and the sex was consensual . The next court date is scheduled for Monday, March 20th.

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Wrongful-death lawsuit against Orange, L.A. dioceses alleges man killed himself over molestation by priest: Victims respond

Statement by Joelle Casteix, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 cell, jcasteix@gmail.com

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/ramos-746682-orange-lawsuit.html

Child sexual abuse affects far more than the victim. Sexual abuse affects families, communities, and generations of children. Yes, Fr. Eleuterio Ramos is dead, but the pain of his alleged abuse lives on in his alleged victims and the people who love those victims.

This is the second recent public child sex abuse-related lawsuit against the Diocese of Orange, dealing with a well-known predator. The pain these alleged molesters have caused is not going away. There may be many more men and women out there, suffering in silence. 
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PA--Penn State officials plead guilty

For immediate release Monday, March 13, 2017

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP, 314-503-0003 bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org 

Tom Curley and Gary Schultz both plead guilty to mishandling child sex allegations against Jerry Sandusky. We hope this brings some comfort to those abused by Sandusky. Many times children are needlessly placed at risk not just because they happen to be near a predator but because adults who knew or should have known the danger failed to act.

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2017/03/13/2-penn-state-ex-administrators-plead-guilty-in-jerry-sandusky-abuse-case.html  

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Diocese postpones more abuse healing services to 2018: Victims respond

Statement by Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 cell, jcasteix@gmail.com

Bishop Wall’s primary job as the Bishop of Gallup is leading his flock, holding Masses, and healing souls—not attending conferences and fundraisers. Why is he not doing his primary job for the people who need him the most?

Wall seems to be very good at honoring obligations that make him look good. However, with this latest announcement, we see that he is NOT very good at honoring obligations that don’t make him look good: non-monetary agreements in a years-long bankruptcy battle, promises to update the list of 31 credibly accused abusers, and simple actions to help the healing of survivors of sexual abuse.

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Kelly argues against time limits on sex cases involving children: Victims respond

Statement by Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 cell, jcasteix@gmail.com 

We applaud St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly. Illinois children who are victims of sex crimes should never be limited by arbitrary deadlines when seeking justice. 
Men and women who prey on children love short statutes of limitations. Predators know children take decades to understand the crimes committed against them and that most victims will live decades in shame, fear, and silence, if they tell at all.
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Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown diocese is making a small step forward

For immediate release Monday, March 6, 2017

Statement by Judy Jones, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 974 5003,snapjudy@gmail.com)

We are grateful that Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese is making changes. We agree with him the “one case of abuse is too many.” This is a small step forward but the grand jury report came out over a year ago and we are still only seeing words and promises we are not seeing any actions that make children safer today than they were a year ago.

http://wjactv.com/news/local/diocese-of-altoona-johnstown-details-sweeping-changes-for-child-sex-abuse   

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PA—SNAP wants legislators to abolish the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse

For immediate release: Thursday, March 2, 2017

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, East Bay Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175melanie.sakoda@gmail.com)

Once again the Pennsylvania state legislature is considering lifting the civil statute of limitations (SOL) for child sexual abuse. Once again the debate is whether or not the SOL should be removed retroactively.

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CA--Roman Polanski Should Face U.S. Justice For 1977 Rape, Los Angeles DA Says: Victims respond

For immediate release, March 2, 2017

Statement by Joelle Casteix, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director, (949) 322-7434jcasteix@gmail.com

In 1977, Roman Polanski was arrested on charges of drugging a raping a 13-year-old girl when he was 44. In 1978, he took a plea bargain to avoid a lengthy jail sentence. Soon after, he fled the country. Since then, members of the Hollywood elite have defended his actions by blaming the victim, calling her names, and praising Polanski’s “artistry” as a director.

But the fact remains: he pled guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a child—a child who should have been memorizing vocabulary words in middle school, not recovering from rape and character assassination by a powerful middle-aged millionaire.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/roman-polanski-should-face-us-justice-for-1977-rape-los-angeles-da-says/ar-AAnGYHu?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UP97DHP

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Vatican--Remaining survivor on papal panel resigns; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, East Bay Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (925-708-6175melanie.sakoda@gmail.com)

We share Marie Collins’ justifiable frustration with the “shameful resistance” of Vatican officials to changes in procedures that would protect children. Instead, of implementing changes that would have a direct effect on curtailing the abuse crisis, the Curia continues to set up roadblocks.

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POPE QUIETLY TRIMS SANCTIONS FOR SEX ABUSERS SEEKING MERCY, VICTIMS RESPOND

For immediate release Sunday, February 26, 2017

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, California, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 jcasteix@gmail.com

Once again, church officials have put the needs and feelings of predators over public safety and the needs of children who are the victims of sex crimes. 

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_REL_VATICAN_MERCY_FOR_ABUSERS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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HI--New housing director subject of sex abuse scandal

Victims to mayor: Reconsider decision

New Housing Director subject of sex abuse scandal

Appointment creates “Hostile work environment” for city employees 

Caldwell decision “imprudent,” may violate EEOC rules, letter says

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KY--Priest sentenced in abuse case

For immediate release Thursday, February 9

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director 314-503-0003 bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org

A Louisville priest who is accused of molesting two children and spent 30 years running a camp for kids has been sentenced to seven years in prison. A support group for victims is praising those who helped prosecute him and begging others who “may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes or church cover ups” to come forward.

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