Media Statements

USA--Victims say USA Gymnastics are “behaving like bishops”

For immediate release: Thursday, Dec 15, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

It's dreadfully disheartening that USA Gymnastics officials are following the callous course of Catholic officials in child sex abuse and cover up cases. We’re especially upset that these athletic officials are fighting 

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2016/12/15/20-year-toll-368-gymnasts-allege-sexual-exploitation/95198724/

We applaud the IndyStar's thorough and troubling investigation that shows 368 youngsters have reported abuse in gymnastics. At the same time, however, we quibble with how it depicts decision-making by gymnastic officials. Those officials "failed to alert" police and "failed to warn future employers" about predators, IndyStar reporters wrote. We disagree. 

Failure is when one misdials trying to reach 911. Failure is when one swings at a baseball and misses. That’s not what’s happening here. These are cold-hearted choices, made day after day after day, by adults who claim to care about kids. These are deliberately selfish decisions to put one’s careers, coffers and comfort ahead of the safety of innocent and vulnerable youngsters. 

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OH--Abuse victims blast OH court ruling & appeal to lawmakers

For immediate release: Thursday, Dec 15, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We’re very disappointed that Ohio’s Supreme Court arbitrarily insists that damage caps apply even in horrific cases of child sexual abuse by clergy. Had the court sided with innocent kids and wounded victims, instead of with powerful employers, Ohio kids would be safer today. Instead, those kids are more vulnerable because those who ignore or hide child sex crimes have essentially gotten a reprieve from the state’s highest court.

http://www.sanduskyregister.com/story/201612150014

Severe wrongdoing stops when wrongdoers are severely punished. But this ruling does just the opposite – it enshrines a clear, low ‘cap’ that will do little to prod wrongdoers to stop doing wrong. 

 

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CA--Victims blast Scouts over “immoral” legal tactics

For immediate release, December 15, 2016

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda 925-708-6175melanie.sakoda@gmail.com, board member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

The facts about this case are easily available from court filings, news coverage and the attorneys involved. As advocates for children, and victims, we’re here today to talk about morality - specifically, the immoral, mean-spirited and possibly illegal defenses that Boy Scout officials are using to try to evade responsibility and intimidate victims.

Last year, a 17 year old sued Boy Scout officials for the repeated abuse he says he suffered six years earlier by assistant scoutmaster Dustin Hedrick. Now, in a disgusting and chilling legal maneuver, those Scout officials are essentially blaming the then-13 year old for his sexual victimization by a now-imprisoned predator. 

In court, just like in sports, one can fight clean or fight dirty. The Scouts are fighting dirty. They should apologize, reverse course and discipline or demote the official or officials who approved this callous and cunning legal strategy.

In a legal filing, trying to get this entire case tossed out of court, Scout officials call Hedrick’s crimes against a 13 year old “a consensual, clandestine relationship” and that “part of” the victim “enjoyed the experience” because he had “confessed his sexuality” as gay.

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WA--Seattle Catholic abuse secrecy continues, SNAP says

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790cell, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We applaud the brave woman who just settled her child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against the Seattle Catholic archdiocese. But we deplore the continuing secrecy of church officials with predators.

http://www.king5.com/news/local/investigations/woman-shares-dark-secret-after-32-years-of-silence/369662462

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IL--Chicago’s Cardinal lets another wrongdoing cleric just move elsewhere

For immediate release: Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org) 

For the second time in five months, top Chicago Catholic officials are letting a priest who engaged in sexual misconduct move down the road to even more vulnerable and unsuspecting families where he’s apt to hurt others. It’s a continuation of the callous and irresponsible pattern of moving predators that Catholic staffers have engaged in for centuries.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-archdiocese-marco-mercado-406378595.html?akmobile=o&nms=y

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RI--Predator priest-defrocked by Harrisburg bishop in court today; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

A child molesting Episcopalian priest who worked near Altoona and was defrocked weeks ago by Harrisburg’s bishop is in court today. 

http://www.diocesecpa.org/news/bishop-deposes-priest-named-new-england-prep-school-sex-abuse-case

We applaud the brave victims and law enforcement officials who are prosecuting him. They are reminding all of us of an important lesson – even older child sex crimes and cover ups must be reported to police and prosecutors. And we beg church officials in Pennsylvania and three other states to do aggressive outreach to find and help others who were assaulted by this cleric.

All too often, we all assume “it’s just too late” to pursue those who commit or conceal sexual violence. Increasingly, that’s just not true. Even in decades-old cases, more lawyers, cops and prosecutors are being increasingly creative and aggressive about going after these predators and enablers, a long-overdue move we deeply appreciate.

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PA--Victims attack Cosby's "increasingly desperate" tactics

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Bill Cosby’s intensifying his threatening tactics to scare victims, witnesses and whistleblowers into staying silent. We hope it backfires.

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/12/bill_cosby_hearing_13_accusers_1.html

Today’s courtroom antics by Cosby’s lawyers - the allegedly accidental mentioning of accusers’ names, the “memory expert,” the thick binders - are all part of an increasingly desperate and disgusting defense strategy designed to deter and discourage others with information from stepping forward.

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CA--Group applauds Sac abuse victim who's suing today

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

We applaud the brave family of a boy who is suing Sacramento city and school officials for abuse by a now-convicted child molesting teacher. We applaud his attorneys for holding a news conference today to expose those who ignored warning signs of the teacher’s wrongdoing.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article120525573.html

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PA--Ex-Bedford predator priest in court today; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We applaud the brave victims and law enforcement officials who are prosecuting a child molesting Episcopalian priest and who are reminding all of us of an important lesson – even older child sex crimes and cover ups must be reported to police and prosecutors. And we beg church officials in four states to do aggressive outreach to find and help others who were assaulted by this cleric.

All too often, we all assume “it’s just too late” to pursue those who commit or conceal sexual violence. Increasingly, that’s just not true. Even in decades-old cases, more lawyers, cops and prosecutors are being increasingly creative and aggressive about going after these predators and enablers, a long-overdue move we deeply appreciate.

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AK--Catholic bishop slammed by victims

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Juneau Bishop Edward Burns is a poor choice to head the Dallas diocese. Pope Francis continues to promote clerics who share his personal leadership style and sadly, his lack of action on children’s safety.

http://www.snapnetwork.org/ak_victims_blast_juneau_bishop_over_abuse_remarks

http://www.usccb.org/news/2016/16-026.cfm

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MA--Predator priest in court in Boston; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We applaud the brave victims and law enforcement officials who are prosecuting a child molesting Episcopalian priest and who are reminding all of us of an important lesson – even older child sex crimes and cover ups must be reported to police and prosecutors. And we beg church officials in four states to do aggressive outreach to find and help others who were assaulted by this cleric.

All too often, we all assume “it’s just too late” to pursue those who commit or conceal sexual violence. Increasingly, that’s just not true. Even in decades-old cases, more lawyers, cops and prosecutors are being increasingly creative and aggressive about going after these predators and enablers, a long-overdue move we deeply appreciate.

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RI--National group blasts officials over school shrink

For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We share the outrage of those hurt at St. George School over delays in acting against an allegedly callous therapist who reportedly refused to call police about suspected child sex crimes. The officials in charge simply must do better.

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20161212/st-georges-abuse-victims-frustrated-by-ri-inaction-on-complaint

The state Health Department and state Board of Psychology must move more quickly to at least suspend Peter Kosseff. It doesn’t take a year to investigate the charges that he hurt kids by refusing to call 911.

In the years since his alleged wrongdoing at St. George, one wonders how many other possible cases of sexual violence has he kept silent about. How many other known or suspected child sex crimes is he hiding right now?  

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