NY- Priest guilty of child porn avoids prison time, SNAP responds

NY- Priest guilty of child porn avoids prison time, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Tuesday, August 26, 2014       

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com) 

A retired New York priest plead guilty to possession of child porn and has avoided a prison sentence. We are disappointed by this outcome, but are glad he will have to register as a sex offender. 

Fr. Robert Ours, who is currently living in Syracuse, was arrested in May on child porn charges. We hope church officials at the Syracuse Catholic diocese aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Ours' crimes and urge them to contact police and prosecutors immediately. 

It is important to remember that children were hurt in the making of these photos. The word ‘porn’ does not accurately describe what has taken place. These are violent child sexual images and the children involved are the victims of a horrific crime.

We fear others have been hurt and are fearful to come forward. We would encourage anyone who has been harmed by Fr. Ours to come forward, get help, begin healing and work with law enforcement.  Often there are people in the community who have seen or suspect Fr. Our’s misdeeds. No matter how old or insignificant the information may seem we hope they will contact law enforcement.

Additionally, Bishop Robert Cunningham should visit every parish Fr. Ours worked and beg witness, whistleblowers, and victims to come forward and report to secular officials.

(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) 

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, Sdavidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)

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