MO--SNAP to new church head: "Stop exploiting legal technicalities"
New settlement involves convicted priest
Two victims of notorious predator resolve case
But Catholic officials are fighting against a third victim
SNAP to new church head: "Stop exploiting legal technicalities"
Church lawyers still minimize young girl “up skirt” photos, group says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose that two more cases against KC’s most notorious predator priest have settled.
They will also urge KC’s new bishop to drop “hurtful technical defenses” in a third case involving that cleric which goes to court later this month.
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm
Outside the chancery, the KC MO Catholic diocesan headquarters, 20 West 9th, in downtown KC
Two-four members of a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) including a St. Louis man who is the organization's long time director
Two more civil cases against the KC MO Catholic diocese have been resolved. They center on child sex crimes by a now-imprisoned, high-profile ex-priest, Shawn Ratigan. Two girls and their mother will split $200,000.
But a third similar suit is pending and faces a court hearing on October 27. Lawyers for new KC Bishop James Johnston want that case thrown out for a variety of reasons.
First, Catholic officials claim that “up skirt” photos of young girls are not “obscene” if they do not clearly show actual “sexual conduct.”
Second, while being questioned in police custody, Ratigan was caught on film smashing a chip that some believe contained illegal and inappropriate photos of young girls from his parish. Because of that, lawyers for Bishop Johnston claim that the civil suit should be rejected, claiming there’s no evidence showing that this particular girl had been photographed.
Her parents, however, actually saw Ratigan take inappropriate photos of their daughter. And SNAP says that neither Ratigan nor his church supervisors should benefit from his successful effort to destroy evidence. Bishop Johnston, SNAP contends, “can’t claim to want ‘healing’ while he exploits the same kinds of legal technicalities that Bishop Robert Finn used time and time again against victims in court.”
The hearing is set for Oct. 27 in the Western District Court of Appeals in Kansas City.
The victims are represented by KC MO attorneys Rebecca Randles (816 510 2704 cell, Rebecca@rmblawyers.com) and Sarah Brown(816 269 6226 cell). The diocese is represented by Spencer Brown and Mimi Doherty (816 421 4000)
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.
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.