OH - Victims prod Catholic officials in sex case
SNAP: “Disclose accused teacher’s name”
She allegedly sent inappropriate photos to student
Group wants Catholic school & church officials to “reach out”
“It’s especially hard for boys who are sexually exploited by females,” SNAP says
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will urge Catholic church and school officials to do more about allegations last week of child sex crimes by a teacher. They will prod Columbus’ Catholic bishop to
--disclose the accused teacher’s name,
--write to former staff, students and their families about her, and
--post notices about her in church bulletins and on church websites to “help police and prosecutors determine whether formal charges should be filed” and to “help find others who may have been hurt by her.”
TODAY, Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 1:45 p.m.
Two members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including a Columbus woman who is the organization’s local director
On the sidewalk outside St. Joseph Cathedral, 212 East Broad Street (corner of N 5th St.) in downtown Columbus
For the sake of kids’ safety, and to help law enforcement, SNAP wants Columbus Bishop Frederick Campbell to publicly reveal the name of a Fisher Catholic High School teacher who has been suspended a few days ago for allegedly “sexting” – sending nude or partially nude photos of herself to a student.
The teacher also allegedly rubbed a boy’s leg under a desk in a classroom.
SNAP believes that too often, Catholic officials are secretive about alleged child sexual abuse. The group notes that for more than a decade, official church policy mandates “openness and transparency” in such cases.
The teacher has not been formally charged. But SNAP believes that by making her identity known, Campbell may prod others who saw, suspected or suffered her crimes to step forward, helping police and prosecutors pursue a criminal case against her. If she’s too dangerous to have in a classroom, SNAP feels, she’s too dangerous to let quietly live “under the radar” around unsuspecting families.
Fischer Principal Sean Kenney reported the claim about 10:15 a.m. Sunday to the Lancaster Police Department,” according to one media account. Lancaster Police Department Capt. Adam Pillar says an investigation is under way.
SNAP also wants church and school officials to mail letters to former students and staff at the school, asking if any of them saw, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds or cover ups at Fisher.
(Recently in Arkansas, two female teachers at a Catholic school were found guilty. One of them, Kelly O’Rourke, committed child sexual abuse. The other, Kathy Griffin, failed to promptly report suspicions of the crimes to authorities.)
Finally, SNAP is also asking Bishop Campbell to personally visit every parish or school where the teacher worked or taught begging other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to step forward.
The group will cite and provide evidence of three cases in which church officials did what SNAP considers good outreach to other possible victims, including cases in St. Louis, Boston and Tyler Texas.
Attorney John Snider represents the student and his family. He urged the public to respect the family’s privacy. SNAP echoes that sentiment.
SNAP will also discuss the special difficulties that sometimes emerge when boys are sexually violated by female predators.
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.
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.