MO - Shocking new clergy abuse case is filed
- Man says two priests molested him as a kid
- He also witnessed 3 other boys being abuse
- One of them, he says, later committed suicide
- One of the predators has never been accused before
- That cleric is still on the job today in northern Missouri
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim who has never spoken publicly will
--announce his new civil lawsuit accusing two priests of molesting him as a boy, and
--disclose that he saw one of the priests molest three other boys (one of whom later committed suicide).
He will also beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to come forward & get help.
TODAY, Thursday, Sept. 1 at 2:30 PM
Outside the Kansas City Catholic diocesan headquarters ("chancery office"), 20 West Ninth Street (at Baltimore) in Kansas City, MO.
The victim, who is speaking publicly for the first time, along with several of his friends and one-two clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
According to the new suit, the victim, Jon David Couzens, was molested by two KC area priests. He saw one cleric molest three boys, two of whom later committed suicide.
The first alleged predator was Fr. Isaac True, who reported assaulted Jon around 1978-79 when John was nine year old on at least two occasions.
The second alleged predator was Msgr. Thomas J. O'Brien, who reportedly molested John in 1981-82. Jon witnessed O'Brien sexually abuse three other boys. One of them has since committed suicide, the suit says.
Most of the crimes against John happened at Nativity parish in Independence, where both priests worked.
O'Brien was ordained in 1950and is believed to be about 80 years old. He faces allegations that he molested two dozen children (sometimes along with F.r Thomas Reardon) while at a cabin on Lake Viking (northeast of Kansas City) and several parishes (St. Patrick's in Kansas City North, St. Elizabeth's, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Independence). He worked at several Catholic institutions (St. Pius X High school and St. Joseph Health Center). He still lives in the KC area and kept working as a priest until 2002. In 2008, Kansas City church officials refused demands by victims to have O'Brien defrocked. He remains a priest today.
True was ordained in 1966 and has spent most of his career at Conception Abbey in Conception Missouri, north of Kansas City, where he is still working now. He belongs to a Catholic religious order called the Benedictines. In June, another Benedictine cleric from that same abbey, Fr. Bede Parry, was sued for molesting a Kansas City area boy.
Couzens just turned 41, lives in the Kansas City area, is married and employed.
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.