MI--Judge should cancel speech

MI--Judge should cancel speech

For immediate release: Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015

For more information: Claudia Vercellotti, Toledo SNAP leader (419) 345-9291cell Snaptoledo@aol.comClaudiayv@gmail.com

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com

Victims ask justice to cancel speech

She’s going to college with a predatory professor

Abuse group warns “Her presence endorses recklessness”

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is asking an Ohio Supreme Court justice to cancel her appearance at a college this week where an admitted abuser teaches.  

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing  Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith Lanzinger protesting her upcoming speech at Adrian College, a Methodist school in Michigan. They’re worried about Thomas Hodgman, an Adrian music professor who admitted abusing three girls.

“If a college hired Bill Cosby, you wouldn’t speak there,” said Toledo SNAP leader, Claudia Vercellotti's letter to Lanzinger. “But Cosby is an accused serial offender. This professor is an admitted serial offender.”

 “A state Supreme Court justice should be very concerned about seeming to ignore or condone child sex crimes,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “We doubt Lanzinger knew about Hodgman when she accepted this invitation but we sure hope that, for the safety of students and the integrity of the court, she backs out immediately.”

From 1986-1990, Hodgman taught at Mater Dei High School in Orange County California, where he met and abused the three girls. The names of two of them are confidential.  http://www.ocweekly.com/2008-07-10/features/joelle-casteix-fights-for-catholic-church-sex-abuse-victims-while-pursuing-her-own-abuser/5/

But the third, Joelle Casteix, is now an award-winning advocate for abuse victims and our group's long time volunteer Western Regional Director.  http://www.kansas.com/2011/07/16/1935627/woman-continues-fight-against.html

In 2005, Vercellotti from Toledo joined  Casteix, who traveled from her California home to Adrian and met with then-President Stanley Caine. She expressed her fear that Hodgman might still be molesting children. But Caine took no action, telling Casteix that her motivation was "sour grapes."

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050419/NEWS02/504190310/-1/NEWS

Several  years ago, SNAP wrote then-Adrian President Jeffrey Docking and Music Department Chair Peter Ford “It’s bad enough that Adrian officials won't take the simple, cheap, and morally prudent step of warning their students and staff about Hodgman. But it’s worse that you are compounding his victims’ pain and adding to a predator’s reputation.

 

In 2014, SNAP returned again seeking assistance from the college's new president and current administration, to protect kids from this serial offender and warn students but the college again did nothing.

In court documents, Casteix also says that Hodgman impregnated her and gave her a sexually transmitted disease.

Through her civil lawsuit against Hodgman and his former school, Casteix has obtained roughly 200 pages of personnel documents, which she has posted on her website, TheWorthyAdversary.com. They include:

-- A signed confession in which Hodgman admits molesting at least two teens,

-- A signed document from a school administrator who admits she knew about the abuse for at least a year,

-- A glowing recommendation from the school principal, despite his knowledge of Hodgman's crimes,

-- A letter from the principal to a school superintendent, detailing the abuse, but blaming the actions on Casteix's alleged "emotional problems.”

“Our hearts also ache for Joelle Casteix and others in California who were abused as innocent kids by Hodgman,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP’s outreach director. “But we’re also sad for Methodist donors and Adrian alums who are unknowingly supporting – because college staff are concealing Hodgman’s past – a college administration that puts its students at risk of sexual violence.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith Lanzinger is set to speak at the fifth annual Philip J. Prygoski Constitution Day Address on Sept. 17. The Romney Institute for Law and Public Policy is facilitating Justice Lanzinger’s visit to Adrian, where she will speak at noon in the Jones building’s Baer Lecture Hall at Adrian College, 110 S. Madison St., according to a news release.

http://www.lenconnect.com/article/20150911/NEWS/150919887/-1/sports  

   

 

Honorable Justice Judith Lanzinger

65 South Front Street

Columbus Ohio

Fax: 614 387-9099

Email: publicinformation@sc.ohio.gov

Phone: (614) 387-9000

Re: upcoming speaking engagement at Adrian college September 17, 2015

Dear Honorable Justice Lanzinger:

We are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for survivors of sexual abuse in religious and institutional settings.

We urge you to publicly cancel your upcoming September 17 appearance at Adrian College for several reasons detailed below including what we hope you didn't realize when our speaking engagement was booked. Specifically, there is an admitted child predator who teaches at the school and an additional sexual harassment complaint involving another faculty member and a former student currently pending before the court.

The admitted child predator is professor is Thomas Hodgman, who teaches music theory, choral music and conducts school and local choruses. From 1986-1990, Hodgman taught at Mater Dei High School in Orange County California, where he met and abused the three girls. The names of two of them are confidential.  http://www.ocweekly.com/2008-07-10/features/joelle-casteix-fights-for-catholic-church-sex-abuse-victims-while-pursuing-her-own-abuser/5/

But the third, Joelle Casteix, is now an award-winning advocate for abuse victims and our group's long time volunteer Western Regional Director. http://www.kansas.com/2011/07/16/1935627/woman-continues-fight-against.html She is also a successful author and recently completed a TEDx talk about how she recovered from her abuse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv8m8rycnQs

While Joelle’s story of abuse is tragic, her treatment by Adrian College officials—who KNEW about the abuse—is horrifying and inexcusable, especially now.

In 2005, I traveled with Joelle to Adrian and met with then-President Stanley Caine. Joelle came with evidence and concerns for the safety of both young college co-eds as well as kids in the community where Hodgman was a choir director. Joelle thoughtfully and thoroughly expressed her fear that Hodgman might still be molesting children and exploiting young college students. It was so important to Joelle to protect others from suffering a similar fate, she flew in from California.  But Caine took no action, telling Casteix that her motivation was "sour grapes.” http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050419/NEWS02/504190310/-1/NEWS

Through her successful civil lawsuit against Hodgman and his former school, Joelle obtained roughly 200 pages of personnel documents, which she has posted on her website, TheWorthyAdversary.com. They include:

-- A signed confession in which Hodgman admits molesting Joelle and other girls,

-- A signed document from a school administrator who admits she knew about the abuse for at least a year,

-- A glowing recommendation from the school principal, despite his knowledge of Hodgman's crimes,

-- A letter from the principal to a school superintendent, detailing the abuse, but blaming the actions on Casteix's alleged "emotional problems.”

In 2014, concerned for the safety of kids, I went to Adrian college seeking help from their new president and current administration to ensure no child is exposed to Hodgman whose presence as a faculty member at Adrian college, and the community at large, essentially gives him a pseudo passport of credibility and a license to prey. Our concerns once again, fell upon deaf ears despite the proof, the seriousness of the offenses (multiple high school victims, impregnating Joelle, recklessly and intentionally passing along an STD to a kid), a 1.2 million dollar settlement and Hodgman's own signed confession (which he denied for decades existed but was unearthed in the court records).  

Sadly, Hodgman's still gainfully employed there. Adrian College continues to warn no parents and no students about him. 

If the above isn't disturbing enough,  we've recently become aware of 

another case involving a  former student who has filed a sexual harassment complaint against another faculty member at Adrian College which is currently before the court. 

http://m.lenconnect.com/article/20150721/NEWS/150729850

As an officer of the court and a champion for 14th amendment rights, appearing at a school that knowingly harbors a child molester sends very bad signals to crime victims and the general public. You have a sworn duty to uphold the law—and you have an obligation to be a champion for crime victims.

If a college hired Bill Cosby, you wouldn’t speak there. But Cosby is an accused serial offender. Hodgman is an admitted serial offender

For these reasons, we ask that you cancel your speaking engagement at Adrian College to convey a strong message to crime victims that you do not tolerate, condone or align yourself with any college who harbors child molesters or those who exploit college students by allowing them to work with vulnerable young people.

On behalf of all sexual assault victims, we thank you for your consideration and look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Claudia Vercellotti,

SNAP Toledo Leader

snaptoledo@aol.com

(419)- 345-9291

 

Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director

snapdorris@gmail.com

(314) 503-0003

 

 

Cc: Joelle Casteix

survivor of Thomas Hodgman

jcasteix@gmail.com

(949) 322-7434

   

Comments

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

  • commented 2015-09-15 18:40:26 -0500
    Do not go to this school to honor it in any way. it is a disgrace. My sister in law went there and be came a Dominican nun. She was revered by her students and all who knew her. she told me storie s I couldnt believe. It took along time but I finally had to believe
  • @ tweeted this page. 2015-09-15 09:31:49 -0500