- Predator Las Vegas Cleric's Records Made Public
- They show he molested youngsters in Santa Barbara, then
- Church officials sent multiple offender to Las Vegas
- Later, he admitted to a "power imbalance" and molested college student
- Documents say he should never work in colleges or with kids,
- Church officials also feared for 'public safety"
- SNAP to bishop: Reach out to potential victims
- Protect kids, not predators, they beg
Holding signs and photos of themselves at the age they were abused, victims of childhood sexual abuse will publicly release previously secret sex abuse and cover-up documents about Franciscan Br. Thomas Thing, a former Las Vegas-are cleric. The documents say:
-Thing was sent to Nevada after church officials knew of numerous accusations of sex abuse in California
-Franciscan officials did not inform law enforcement or the Las Vegas community,
-Thing was removed from ministry because church officials "feared for public safety,"
-Thing admitted sexually abusing a USD college student, and
-Church officials said that Thing should never work with college students or youth again.
They will also
-- Demand that the Las Vegas bishop release all files about Thing and all abusers who worked in the diocese,
-- Publish the link to the documents in all diocese materials, websites and bulletins, including school newsletters, and
-- Encourage anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered abuse to call law enforcement, not church officials.
Outside Guardian Angel Cathedral, 302 Cathedral Way, (Las Vegas Blvd & Desert Inn Road) in Las Vegas
Monday, August 13 at 1:15 p.m.
2-3 Sex abuse victims and their supporters who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest (www.SNAPnetwork.org), the nation's largest support group for men and women who have been sexually abused in religious organizations, including a Chicago woman who is the group's founder and president.
Today, a victims' support group is releasing - for the first time - the secret sex abuse and cover-up files of a former Las Vegas-area predator cleric. The documents are a part of a sex abuse victim's recent settlement of his abuse and cover-up lawsuit against the Dioceses of Las Vegas and Reno and the Franciscan Friars.
The lawsuit, filed in March 2011 in Clark County District Court, charged that from 1984-85, a Franciscan Friar, Br. Tom Thing, sexually abused a student at St. Christopher's Catholic Elementary School in North Las Vegas when the victim, Tim Coonce, was in the 7th grade. http://www.lvrj.com/news/man-s-lawsuit-alleges-sex-assault-in-1980s-names-franciscan-friar-118398369.html .
The suit also said that Thing sexually abused the boy in Las Vegas, a cabin in Mt. Charleston, NV, and took him across state lines to California.
The first known abuse accusation against Thing was in 1979, when the cleric was assigned to the Santa Barbara area and was allowed to work and travel with the Santa Barbara Boys Choir. Thing was also reported for inappropriate conduct with boys, inappropriate touching and sexually abusing a boy on a camping trip. After accusers came forward in Santa Barbara, Thing was transferred to Las Vegas, where he went on to abuse.
Coonce received a $600,000 settlement last month.
The documents chronicle Br. Thing's career with the Franciscan Friars and include allegations of child sex abuse abuse and cover-up dating well before his time in Las Vegas. The documents also show that on numerous occasions, Franciscan officials had "reservations" about Thing working with youth.
In addition, Thing admits sexually abusing a college student. Documents also show that Thing inappropriately manipulated college donors, and that he was given 60 days to leave his position at the University of San Diego because he had sexually abused at least one college student.
No reports of the allegations of child sexual abuse or the abuse of college students was made to law enforcement, allowing Thing to continue employment at other universities.
Thing is currently the director of student activities at The University of the West, a small, private university in El Monte, CA. http://www.uwest.edu/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86&Itemid=330
Tim Coonce is represented by Santa Barbara Attorney Tim Hale - (805) 963-2345 (cell)
The complete set of Tom Thing's sex abuse and cover-up documents may be viewed at: bishopaccountability.org .