For immediate release: Sunday, July 6, 2014
Cardinal Dolan is deposed, trial starts Monday
Priest abused was re-assigned & allegedly abused again
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan was quietly deposed last month in a case that goes to trial on Monday in Missouri. It involves a priest who was put back into a parish after admitting abuse and allegedly molested again. The cleric was suspended while Dolan was in charge of pedophile priest cases in St. Louis in 2002.
The case is Jane Doe vs. Fr. Joseph Ross and the St. Louis Archdiocese. According to Missouri Lawyers Weekly and a St. Louis on-line columnist, the deposition took place in late June.
“We're glad Dolan faced tough questions under oath about this awful case and hope he'll honor his promises to be 'open' and release his deposition,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests . “He has rarely been forced to explain his reckless and callous handling of heinous child sex crimes here.”
“Dolan has escaped real scrutiny in this continuing abuse crisis, because he's worked in three states where it very hard for victims to file lawsuits and depose bishops,” said Mary Caplan of SNAP's New York Director. “He's usually been able to exploit archaic laws to avoid being grilled by victims' lawyers.”
“It’s not too late for others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward, expose predators, protect kids, start healing, and help this brave victim who is exposing those clerics who commit and conceal these hideous crimes,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP. “It’s always tempting to keep quiet about child sex crimes – whether known or suspected. However, it’s also always irresponsible. Kids are only safe when adults are brave and caring enough to speak up.
Fr. Joseph D. Ross has a long history of abuse and sexual misconduct and for decades Catholic officials hid his crimes. In 1988, Ross plead guilty to sexual assault of an 11 year old boy. At that time he admitted he had molested another child the 1970s.
Barring a last minute settlement, that trial will start on Monday in St. Louis city before Judge Jimmie Edwards. It will be the first civil pedophile priest trial in St. Louis in 15 years, since a 1999 jury awarded $1.2 million to a victim man. That verdict was later overturned on appeal.
Ross' alleged victim is represented by St. Paul MN attorney Jeff Anderson (612 817 8665 cell) and St. Louis MO attorney Ken Chackes (314 369 3902 cell).
(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 20,000 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)