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.