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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For immediate release:
September 22, 2005

Sex Abuse Group Announces New Child Molestation Lawsuit Against Indianapolis Priest

Group Wants Outreach to Others Who Witnessed or Experienced Crimes

Catholic Officials Claim They Don't Know Predator's Whereabouts

SNAP Begs Current & Former Parishioners & Staff For Info

WHAT

At a sidewalk news conference, clergy molestation victims and Catholics will

- announce a new child sex abuse lawsuit against a veteran Indiana priest,

- urge the cleric's parishioners and colleagues to disclose his whereabouts, and

- ask Catholic officials to prod anyone who suffered or witnessed his crimes to call the police.

They will attempt to hand deliver a letter to Indianapolis top church leaders with these requests.

WHEN:
Thursday, Sept. 22, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE:
Outside the Indianapolis Catholic archdiocese headquarters (aka chancery office), 1400 N. Meridian (corner of 14th Street) in Indianapolis

WHO:
Several Indiana clergy molestation victims, including the national director of a support group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and concerned Catholics who are members of an independent reform group called Voice of the Faithful (VOTF)

WHY:
In 1977, Father Harry Monroe repeatedly sexually assaulted a boy at St. Catherine's parish (now closed) in Indianapolis. That victim, now a grown Indiana man filing as "John Doe," is pursuing this new civil child molestation lawsuit against Monroe and the Indianapolis Catholic archdiocese.

Earlier this month, a 40-year-old man living out of state filed a similar abuse suit against the same defendants, reporting that Monroe sexually abused him while he was a student at St. Andrew Catholic Church's school in 1976. It is believed to be the first time Monroe was publicly accused of abuse.

Church officials claim they do not know Monroe's whereabouts. They admit, however, that the cleric was suspended in 1984 because of "sexual misconduct" accusations.

SNAP worries about the safety of kids around Monroe now. The group wants Archbishop Daniel Buechlein to use church bulletins, diocesan web sites and diocesan newspapers to urge anyone who experienced, suspected or witnessed crimes by Monroe to contact police so that he might be prosecuted, children might be protected, and victims might be healed. For the sake of public safety, they also want former and current church members and staffers to disclose where Monroe lives now and report what they know to authorities.

The lawsuit, filed today in Marion Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages and a jury trial. Both of Monroe's victims are represented by St. Paul MN attorney Pat Noaker (651 227 9990, 612 961 1307 cell).

According to the Indy Star, "Monroe worked at St. Monica Parish in 1975; the former St. Catherine Parish from 1977 through 1979; and at St. Patrick's in Terre Haute from 1979 through 1981. He was placed on leave for a while in 1981 before being assigned to St. Paul in Tell City from 1982 through 1984."

This second victim, now in his 40s, is single, has no kids, and worked for a local Catholic institution for years.

CONTACT:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915

Sandy Teagarden Thomas, Indianapolis SNAP Director, 317-888-1424, 317 833 9996


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
 


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