MO--Wrongful death lawsuit vs. archdiocese settles; SNAP news conf. 11:15 a.m.
Wrongful death suit vs. archdiocese settles
Parents of young man who died by suicide to speak for 1st time
His death led to first “assisted suicide” trial in MO in 100 years
Abusive cleric was convicted of molesting another boy & did jail time
Now defrocked, he lives in St. Charles Co. and is reportedly married
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, parents of a young St. Louis man who died by suicide will speak for the first time about
--his tragic death and
--their recent settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit against the St. Louis archdiocese that employed the priest who molested the boy.
They’ll be joined by a few clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters. The group will urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the priest’s crimes to get help and call police
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 11:15 a.m.
Outside Rosati-Kain High School, 4389 Lindell (corner of Newstead) in the Central West End, St. Louis
The parents, Dan and Pat Harkins of Florissant, and two-three child sex abuse victims who belong to a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
An unusual civil lawsuit has been settled. In it, a St. Louis couple charged that a now-convicted priest – who still lives and works in the St. Louis area - raped their 13 year old son and that archdiocesan officials are responsible for their son’s 2009 death by suicide.
In 2009, the boy, Alex Harkins (then 21), made a suicide pact with a friend, Jacob Runge (then 22) of St. Peters. In May of that year, Harkins shot himself at St. Stanislaus Park in Hazelwood. Runge, however, did not follow through. Days later, Runge led Harkins’ parents to Alex’s body, and in June 2009, Runge was charged with “assisted suicide,” the first such case in Missouri in 100 years. He was acquitted.
According to the Post-Dispatch “Harkins had been troubled since being molested by a priest at age 13, according to testimony.” He told his parents that Fr. Bryan Michael Kuchar had raped him on overnight camps between 1999 and 2002.
In 2013, the parents filed their suit against the archdiocese.
Kuchar, a now-defrocked cleric, was found guilty in 2003 of sexually assaulting another boy in 1995 at Assumption Catholic Church in south St. Louis County. In 2006, Kuchar was released from jail, sent to a church center for pedophile priests and formally removed from the priesthood. He then worked at a Starbucks in St. Charles County and at one at 17293 Chesterfield Airport Rd. in Chesterfield (636 536 6885). (The nearest Starbucks Regional Office is in Chicago at 312 463 0331.)
At one time, SNAP believes he worked at Lumiere Casino. Now, the sex offender registry lists two work addresses for Kuchar: 9160 Clayton Road and 2314 Technology Drive, both in the St. Louis area.
SNAP urges Archbishop Carlson to aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered Kuchar’s crimes and warn his flock about the sex offender.
As a priest, Kuchar worked at the Cathedral on Lindell, Rosati-Kain High School, St. Timothy Church in Affton, and St. John the Baptist Church in south St. Louis. He also helped direct the archdiocesan vocations office, recruiting teenagers and men to the priesthood. Kuchar also had offices at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and lived at St. John the Baptist High School in the city's Bevo neighborhood.
SNAP realizes that Kuchar needs to earn a living and is NOT calling on his employer to fire him. But SNAP wants local Catholic officials to warn parents, parishioners and the public about him. And SNAP encourages Kuchar to get a job with no contact with the public. He’s believed to be around 47 years old, and SNAP calls him a “well-educated, articulate and cunning predator.” Kuchar lived recently at 492 Parkgate Drive in Lake St Louis. http://www.mshp.dps.mo.gov/CJ38/Search
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.