MO - Once-convicted priest may be freed
- Once-convicted priest may be freed
- He also worked & lived in Callaway County
- His presence there hasn’t been disclosed before
- Self help group begs Jeff City Catholic officials to help
- And law enforcement should also do outreach, victims say
- SNAP: Those who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes must step forward
Holding signs and childhood photos at two sidewalk news conferences, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose that a former mid-Missouri predator priest
-- reportedly lived and worked in Callaway County (as well as Boone & Cooper counties), and
-- may soon get out of jail.
They will also urge
-- Callaway County law enforcement officials and the cleric’s former supervisors and colleagues at the Jefferson City Catholic diocese, and a Columbia hospital to help find other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers
And they will beg others with information or suspicions about the predator “to step forward, get help, and help protect kids” by sharing what they know with police and prosecutors in all three counties.
TIME AND PLACE:
--Wednesday, Nov. 14th at 11:30 a.m. -- Outside the Callaway County Sheriff's office, 1201 State Road O, in Fulton, MO, ( between Fulton State hospital and Diagnostic Center.)
--Wednesday Nov 14th at 1:00 p.m., outside the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese headquarters, 2207 W. Main St. (near Forest Hill Ave.), in Jefferson City, MO
Two-three child sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
Late last month, in Boonville, a judge announced that he’ll soon decide whether an imprisoned, once-convicted predator priest will be freed. And days ago, SNAP learned, for the first time, that this child molesting cleric also spent time in Callaway County.
He is Fr. Jerry Howard of the Jefferson City diocese. For more than two years, he has been jailed in Cooper County, facing charges of molesting three boys there. Within weeks, a judge will decide whether the statute of limitations on Howard’s alleged crimes has expired. If so, he will be released.
So SNAP is urging Howard’s former bosses and colleagues at the Jefferson City Catholic diocese and the Columbia’s now-shuttered Charter Hospital to “use their resources and bully pulpits” to “aggressively seek out anyone else who may have been hurt by Howard.”
As a priest, Howard worked at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Boonville. As a counselor, he worked at Charter. And in a new notarized document, which SNAP has obtained and will release today, the mother of one of Howard’s victims says that he also lived and worked in Callaway County, a fact which has not previously been known or reported.
According to sworn testimony last month by three of Howard’s victims in Cooper County, Howard molested children in several places, including at his Boonville home.
In 1983, Howard was convicted of molesting a New Jersey boy. (He got 5 years probation.) Less than a year later, however, Catholic officials let him legally change his name from Fr. Carmine Sita to Fr. Jerry Howard - and quietly sent him to Boonville, without warning parishioners or telling them of Howard’s crimes. In Boonville, Howard sexually assaulted several boys from 1983-1988, eventually being ousted from the parish. It’s not clear if he has ever been defrocked.
A photo of Howard is available at BishopAccountability.org
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More