MO- Trial set for predator priest
For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 21 2014
Trial set for predator priest
He was convicted before in 1980s
Now, he's accused of molesting again
Cleric was in three mid-Missouri counties
After leaving his Catholic post, he was a counselor
A June 26 trial date has been set for a criminal child sex abuse case against a former Catholic priest who lived and worked in Cooper, Boone and Callaway counties.
The accused is Gerald (“Jerry”) Howard who worked at a Boonville Catholic church. In the 1980s, he was a priest in New Jersey and was convicted of molesting a boy in the Jersey City area.
His Catholic supervisors then let him change his name – from Carmine Sita to Jerry Howard – and sent him to the Jefferson City diocese, where he sexually assaulted several boys.
“We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Howard's crimes will find the strength to speak up now,” said David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “If you have any knowledge of or suspicions about Howard – or other child molesting clerics – now is the time to step forward.”
After leaving Boonville, Howard worked as a counselor in Boone and in Callaway counties., including a stint at the now-shuttered Charter Hospital in Columbia.
The prosecutor is Doug Abele of Cooper County (firstname.lastname@example.org, 660-882-7577). Howard is represented by attorney Jim Rutter of Columbia (573 303 3909, email@example.com). In civil suits, Howard's victims have been represented by attorney Bryan Bacon of Columbia (573 874 7777, Ken Chackes of St. Louis (314 369 3902) and Greg Gianforcaro of New Jersey.
A photo of Fr. Howard, and other information, is available at BishopAccountability.org.
The judge is Robert L. Koffman.
More information on the case is available at CaseNet.
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