- MO Supreme Court rules against SNAP
- Victims group refuses to disclose names
- For first time ever, SNAP head is deposed
- Lawyers for predators want 1000s of records
- But the organization is not turning them over
- Group vows to keep on "protecting privacy"
- It calls legal maneuver a "new low in church hardball tactics"
- Victims blast Catholic bishop & priest for "unprecedented attack"
Holding signs and childhood pictures at a sidewalk news conference, a support and advocacy group for child sex abuse victims will disclose that
-- the Missouri Supreme Court ruled against it yesterday, and
-- its director was questioned for six hours yesterday by five Catholic lawyers, but
-- refused to turn over thousands of pages of the organization’s records, and
They will also
--blast Catholic bishops in KC, St. Louis and elsewhere for letting credibly accused child molesting clerics use hardball tactics to violate the privacy of victims and others, and
--pledge to fight "harder than ever" to protect the confidentiality of men, women and teenagers who seek its help, despite an “unprecedented attack” by Catholic officials to force it to disclose private communications by victims, witnesses, journalists, prosecutors, police, whistleblowers and others
TODAY, Tuesday, January 3, 1:30 p.m.
Outside the St. Louis archdiocesan chancery office, 4445 Lindell near Sarah in St. Louis
Two-four clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a confidential support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Yesterday, Missouri's Supreme Court turned down a formal request from SNAP to stop the first-ever deposition of a SNAP staffer in what the group calls “an unprecedented, bullying maneuver designed to protect child molesters and silence victims.”
So yesterday, SNAP director David Clohessy was deposed in St. Louis for hours in what he calls “an extraordinary ‘fishing expedition.’ Church officials also sought hundreds or thousands of pages of SNAP records involving victims and others across the country going back some 23 years. SNAP is refusing to turn them over, citing privacy and several Constitutional freedoms including speech and assembly.
SNAP calls the move a "cruel attack" to violate the privacy of - and learn the names of - victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, journalists, police, prosecutors, donors and others who contact SNAP. It comes as a result of a civil lawsuit filed in September 2010 in Kansas City by “John Doe BP.” He charges that he was sexually violated as a child by Fr. Michael Tierney of Kansas City and that Kansas City Catholic officials knew or should have known and ignored or concealed Tierney's crimes. Tierney faces at least three or four other child sex lawsuits. KC Bishop Robert Finn has suspended Tierney.
SNAP is not even a party to the Tierney lawsuit.
KC attorney Brian Madden represents Tierney. Among the attorneys at the deposition are two from KC: Rebecca Randles 816 510 2704 (who represents John Doe BP) and James R. Wyrsch 816 221 0080. SNAP is represented by Clayton attorney Jeff Jensen.
KC attorneys Chad Bloomberg and Jon Hayden represents the KC diocese but were not present yesterday.
David Clohessy 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com