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SNAP
Press Release


 

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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For immediate release:
Monday, Oct. 16, 2006

For more information:

David Clohessy of St. Louis SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP President 312 399 4747
Mary Grant of Long Beach CA, SNAP Western Regional Director 626 419 2930

Sex Abuse Victims Want Government Authorities To Ban Pedophile

Support Group Urges Canada & US To Block Former Irish Priest

He’s The Subject of Shocking New Documentary & Has “Vanished”

They Plan To Write Immigration Officials Seeking To Protect Kids

For the first time in its 17 year history, a support group for clergy sex abuse victims is asking US and Canadian officials to block a pedophile ex-priest from entering either country.

A leading Irish newspaper reports that Oliver O’Grady, who spent years in a California prison for molesting boys and girls there and was later deported to Ireland, has fled his homeland and may be en route to France and ultimately Canada.

Interest in O’Grady’s crimes has been rekindled recently by the release last week of a controversial and highly acclaimed documentary about the Catholic church child sex abuse and cover up scandal. The film, 'Deliver of Us from Evil', was released in major US cities on Friday and features lengthy and surprisingly frank interviews with O’Grady.

The Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is urging governmental agencies in both Canada and the US to be vigilant and to stop O’Grady from entering either nation.

“O’Grady could be anywhere now,” acknowledges SNAP president Barbara Blaine of Chicago. “Locking him up is the only way to really keep kids safe, but until that happens, he should at least be kept out of this country.”

If he enters Canada, Blaine said, he might find access to the US easier.

“Our understanding is that it’s not that tough to cross into the US from Canada, while authorities are usually more careful with travelers from other countries,” she said.

“We feel it’s our duty to speak out and alert families about this dangerous man,” said Mary Grant of Long Beach, California, SNAP’s Western Regional Director. She knows several of O’Grady’s victims.

“Anything that might restrict his movement and alert law enforcement of his presence would be helpful,” Grant said.

The group especially worries that O’Grady may return to California, where some families in the Stockton area (where he was convicted in 1998) may still like and trust him, or may be unaware that he was found guilty of child sex abuse.

“Even after criminal convictions, some devout and naïve Catholics often believe their favorite, charming priest is innocent,” Grant said. “It may be hard for some to believe or understand, but we fear that some California Catholics might still trust O’Grady around their kids even now.”

If O’Grady ends up someplace new, at least he’ll have to start from scratch building up trust among unsuspecting families, SNAP says.

“But if he’s back in the US, he’ll have more access and advantage than he would living somewhere else,” Grant said. "We suspect he'll be better able to ingratiate himself into Catholic families here."

An Irish clergy abuse victim, advocate, and political candidate, Colm O'Gorman, has appealed for international cooperation in tracking O’Grady. O’Gorman is a founder of One in Four, Ireland’s leading organization for child molestation victims. He has also said that the incident should prompt a review of Irish laws surrounding sexual abuse and the registering of sex offenders.

For interviews with the filmmaker, please contact Adam Kersch of Lionsgate (212 386 6874).

For interviews with O’Grady’s victims, please contact Mary Grant of SNAP (626 419 2930).

 

 

 


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


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