Mexico- Runaway priest sued for abuse, victims respond
For immediate release: Friday, September 19, 2014
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director, (firstname.lastname@example.org, 949.322.7434 cell)
It is shocking and upsetting to learn that credibly accused child predator Roberto Peguero Hernandez is still living and working as a priest in Mexico. Not only has he been named as an abuser by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but he was allowed to escape the country when police in Santa Paula learned about the allegations.
And all along, Peguero Hernandez has been protected by the Franciscan Friars of Santa Barbara.
We fear that there may be hundreds of children in Jalisco who are in danger of abuse. We beg Guadalajara Archbishop Francisco Robles Ortega to immediately remove Peguero Hernandez from ministry and send him back to the United States.
We also urge law enforcement to vigorously investigate these cases in the hopes of putting Peguero Hernandez behind bars and finding more victims in need of help and justice.
Finally, we salute the bravery of the victims in this case, who were abused when they were young, vulnerable children. Their fight for justice will keep children in Mexico and California safer from 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 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.