NY- Albany doesn’t have to release sex abuse documents, SNAP responds
For immediate release: Friday, February 7, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
The Albany diocese will not have to release 40 years of sexual abuse records.
The victim filed suit in Vermont, which is where the abuse took place. The priest Gary Mercure was based out of the Albany diocese. The statute of limitations is less restrictive in Vermont than in New York and the victim’s attorney showed through business records that the Albany diocese has close ties with Vermont.
Mercure is currently serving a prison sentence in MA for sexually abusing an altar boy there.
We’re sad that Bishop Howard J. Hubbard will not turn over these documents and that he spent precious donations to pay for attorneys to appeal.
Hubbard should have publicly released those documents years ago. For the safety of kids, the healing of victims and the benefit of his flock, he should be transparent and work to help victims
But at the very least, he should stop these costly and hurtful legal maneuvers that contradict his repeated pledges to be sensitive to victims and forthcoming about abuse.
If you saw, suspected or suffered any wrongdoing by clergy – child sex crimes, adult sexual misconduct or cover ups of any sort – we beg you to stop being part of the problem and start becoming part of the solution.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, email@example.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.