MO- KC abuse victim who endured 2 week trial speaks out
Dozens of his family and friends rally around him
Victims also push KC church officials to do more about 2 ousted priests
They are still priests, were part of new settlement, and now live out of state
Surrounded by relatives and friends, the KC man who endured a two week clergy sex abuse and cover up trial will speak for the first time publicly about the ordeal and how he was treated by church lawyers.
And clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand out fliers to church goers. The leaflets urge KC’s embattled Catholic bishop to warn the public – in KC, Nevada and Pennsylvania – about two credibly accused KC predator priests who have quietly been sent elsewhere
Friday, Oct. 17 at 11:45 a.m.
On the sidewalk outside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 416 W. 12th in downtown KC MO
Plaintiff Jon David Couzens and two dozen of his friends and family including members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
Couzens is one of just two men in Missouri to ever take a clergy sex abuse civil case to trial. Lawyers for KC Bishop Robert Finn deposed him for roughly 25 hours, repeatedly asking extremely detailed and embarrassing questions.
And in court, they revealed deeply personal information about him and drew inferences and “conclusions” about him that deliberately – and deceptively – portrayed him in the most unpleasant and unflattering ways possible.
Two accused predator priests from Kansas City who were involved in the just-settled clergy sex abuse suits have been quietly sent out of state and now live among unsuspecting neighbors, SNAP says.
The group wants Bishop Robert Finn – and bishops in those states - to warn parents, police, prosecutors and parishioners about the clerics.
They are Fr. Mark Honhart and Fr. Thomas Cronin. (Photos of both are at BishopAccountability.org)
Fr. Honhart was ordained in the Kansas City diocese in 1980 and worked there until 2002 when he was transferred to New Mexico and then to Pennsylvania. Three civil lawsuits have been filed against Fr. Honhart with all three allegations having taken place in Kansas City.
Kansas City officials claimed thet they were unaware of the allegations against Fr. Honhart before he was sent away. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/03_04/2011_03_08_Thomas_LawsuitAccuses.htm
Fr. Cronin was ordained in the Kansas City diocese in 1969 and was sent to Nevada in 1997. Fr. Cronin is accused of repeatedly raping a teenage girl. After the victim filled a civil suit, Fr. Cronin was found to be working at a Catholic church in Fernley Nevada and trying to start a homeless and battered women’s shelter. http://archive.rgj.com/article/20120912/NEWS/309110028
He was suspended from his Nevada parish only after SNAP publicly accused both the bishops of Reno and Kansas City of “recklessness” for keeping Fr. Cronin on the job even after the suit was filed.
SNAP wants Bishop Finn to use church bulletins, diocesan websites and pulpit announcements to beg others who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or other misdeeds by the two priests to call law enforcement.
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.