MO- Accused serial predator priest wants trial
For immediate release: Monday, Nov. 25
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A defrocked Catholic priest, who admitted molesting in New Jersey and is accused of molesting several boys in mid-Missouri, wants to go to trial.
We welcome this move. We have tremendous confidence in the three brave men who have reported being abused by Fr. Gerry Howard in Boonville. We hope that the judge also lets into evidence Howard’s guilty plea in New Jersey.
At the same time, however, we strongly urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Howard’s crimes to come forward. Police and prosecutors can never have too much evidence or too many witnesses in a clergy sex abuse trial. Pedophile priests typically get top notch lawyers and exploit technicalities, often escaping responsibility for their crimes or getting little or no jail time if they are convicted.
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.