New lawsuit v. SLU & Jesuit priest
- New lawsuit v. SLU & Jesuit priest
- He’s accused, again, of sexual exploitation
- He was once university president & professor
- Case charges he exploited undergrad in counseling
- SNAP urges Catholic officials to disclose his whereabouts
- And group begs others who “saw, suspected or suffered” to speak up
Holding signs and photos at a sidewalks news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hand out fliers disclosing a new abuse lawsuit being filed against a priest who once headed St. Louis University, and urge university and Catholic officials to
--tell parishioners and the public where he is living now,
--disclose any other allegations against him,
--seek out others who may have been hurt by him, and
--reveal the names of other predators who now live or work at SLU
TODAY, Tuesday, May 1, 11:45 a.m.
Outside St. Francis Xavier Church at St. Louis University, SW corner of Grand & Lindell in St. Louis city
Three-four victims of child sex abuse and their supporters who are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org)
Today, a new clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit is being filed against a Jesuit priest who has been a high-ranking official at two Catholic universities. The priest is Fr. Daniel C. O’Connell who worked at St. Louis University – first as a psychology professor and later as university president (from 1974 to 1978). He also was a professor and chaplain at Loyola University in Chicago.
The suit being filed today by woman who says she was abused in the late 1960’s while she was a SLU undergrad in counseling. “From a dysfunctional household,” the suit says the teen “found solace, peace and trust in her Catholic religion” and “trusted and relied upon the priests for comfort, mentoring, counsel, advice and moral guides.” It also says that O’Connell had “control” over her “in his role as a professor, priest and psychological counselor” and “began sexually abusing her in his psychology office at SLU.”
The suit alleges O’Connell committed malpractice and also names the university as a defendant, alleging an intentional failure to supervise.
O’Connell was also sued two years ago last month. In April 2010, a different woman, Jane Doe MB, charged that, during a semester abroad in Italy, Fr. O’Connell exploited his position as her religious mentor and sexually assaulted her. She also accused church officials of breaking a commitment to keep O’Connell away from vulnerable young people. (That suit was covered by KMOX and the Post Dispatch on 4/30/10)
At least one admitted child molesting cleric – Fr. Vincent Bryce – lives at SLU (directly across the street from St. Francis Xavier Church) and works across the street from the university (at the Aquinas Institute). At least six other child molesting clerics worked/lived at SLU including Fr. Charles Miller, Fr. Eugene Maio, Fr. Jack Campbell, Fr. Chester E. Gaiter, Fr. Gerhardt Lehmkuhl and Fr. Juan Carlos Duran (who’s wanted by the law). But SLU officials have virtually never admitted this or disclosed their identities and crimes to students, staff or the public.
Both alleged victims suing O’Connell are being represented by Kansas City attorney Rebecca Randles (816 931 9901, 816 519 2704 cell).
The alleged victim is now 62 and lives in New Jersey. She came to SLU in 1967 and graduated in 1971. The suit maintains that the young woman repressed memory of the abuse until 2010.
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 (SNAPclohessy@aol.com),
Barbara Dorris, 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com
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.