A predatory Columbus Catholic priest, who once spent a year in prison, has passed away. Fr. Thomas L. McLaughlin died on Feb. 6th.
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered from McLaughlis crimes to “come forward, expose wrongdoers, get help and start healing.”
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, say they "hope McLaughlin's passing will bring some measure of comfort and closure to those he hurt.”
“At least now it’s certain he’ll never be able to harm another child,” said, Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director.
Jones says she suspects that others who were molested by McLaughlin are still suffering in silence, shame and self-blame. "Most who were sexually assaulted as children by clerics never disclose or discuss the experience", she maintains.
In 1989, McLaughlin was sentence to 18 months in prison for sexually molesting a 12 yr old boy. He pleaded guilty and charges involving six other boys were dismissed. McLaughlin spent one year at Hocking Correctional Facility. After his release from prison in 1990 he "complied with the request that he be defrocked. A Civil suit was filed by two victims and settled in 1992.