Reward offered for info on death of SJ priest
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The family of the Jesuit priest who died in San Jose eight years ago is offering a reward for information about his death. Police ruled the death of James Chevedden a suicide, but the family is not convinced of that. They believe it was a homicide and they want police to take a second look.
James Chevedden, a Jesuit priest, died on his birthday, May 19, 2004. Authorities say Father Chevedden, who was on jury duty that day, committed sucide by jumping from the roof of a parking structure across the street from the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice. His family doesn't believe that's the case. " I question whether he was hurled over because hee seemed to be motionless," Chevedden's brother John told ABC7 News.
In the years before his death, Father Chevedden had accused another priest living at a church facility in Los Gatos of sexually abusing him. The Jesuits reached a $1.6 million settlement with the family following Chevedden's death. A spokesperson Wednesday said, "We are not going to comment. It's a settled legal matter."
Still, the family and supporters are asking the Jesuits to turn over any information they have to police and they are asking law enforcement to open a new investigation. "There's so many inconsistencies. Suicide jumpers don't land on their back. They land on their feet or their head. There's just so many questions," said Joelle Casteix with theSurvivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
In a strange twist, the family says one of the last people to see Father Chevedden alive wa...
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.