KC bishop “outs” 3 victims, group says
In unusual move, he discloses their identities
SNAP: “Dozens more victims could suffer same fate”
As plaintiffs in child sex cases, their privacy is guaranteed
But Finn’s lawyers release their names when they are witnesses
Defense maneuver comes in parent’s wrongful death suicide suit
Accused predator priest is Missouri’s “most notorious” abusive cleric, SNAP says
Holding signs and childhood photos, leaders of a clergy sex abuse victims support group will announce that Kansas City’s bishop
--has disclosed the names of three KC adults who filed child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits as “John Does” and
--may do also violate the privacy of dozens of other alleged victims.
They will discuss a new court filing that’s designed to stop what they call “this mean-spirited and intimidating legal defense maneuver” and prod local Catholics to
--donate elsewhere until Kansas City Catholic officials “stop the legal hardball” and
--share what they know about clergy sex crimes with police and prosecutors “so that kids will be safer.”
TODAY, Thursday, May 9, at 1:00 p.m.
Outside the Kansas City diocesan headquarters, 20 West Ninth Street (at Baltimore) in Kansas City, MO
Three adults including a Kansas City abuse victim who belongs to a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis woman who is the organization’s Associate Midwest Director
At least three alleged clergy sex abuse victims’ privacy has been violated, SNAP contends, because defense lawyers for Kansas City Catholic officials have put their names in court filings that are open to the public. Dozens more who have taken legal action against local predator priests may soon suffer the same fate, SNAP says.
The three filed civil lawsuits against Bishop Finn and the diocese as “John Does” to protect themselves and their loved ones, SNAP says, and won court orders guaranteeing their confidentiality.
But now Finn’s lawyers are making their names available to the public. They claim that court “protective orders” for victims only cover those victims in their own litigation, not if they are possible witnesses in other clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.
Such “hardball tactics,” SNAP says “rubs even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of abuse victim and betrayed parishioners. And it intimidated other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers from speaking up, thus leaving kids in more danger of future child sex crimes.”
Today, the attorney for dozens of victims has filed a formal “Motion to Enforce Pseudonym Order and/or Protective Order” in Jackson County Circuit Court. A copy of this document will be available at the news conference.
The diocese’s action comes in a case called “Donald Teeman v. Msgr. Thomas O’Brien and the Kansas City diocese.” Don and Rosemary Teeman allege that their son Brian, 14, took his own life in 1983 after having been repeatedly sexually assaulted as a youngster by Msgr. O’Brien.
The case was filed in Sept. 2011 and is set for trial on July 8.
The diocese is represented by Lathop and Gage. O’Brien is represented by Gerald McGonagle (816 222 2221). The Teeman family is represented Rebecca Randles (816 931 9901). All the attorneys are from Kansas City MO.
O’Brien is still a priest and thus, SNAP believes, on the Kansas City diocesan payroll. He is believed to be living in the Kansas City area. Over the past decade O’Brien has faced almost three dozen lawsuits accusing him of molesting kids. Many have been settled. For almost a decade, KC Catholic officials have forbidden him to present himself publicly as a priest though (SNAP doubts that this has been rigorously enforced).