The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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Clergy sex abuse victims tell Giuliani "Put up or shut up"
They challenge him to file bar complaint against Long Island prosecutor
His pal, a suspended priest, allegedly abused kids & concealed abuse by others
"If your buddy's been falsely accused, you have a duty to take action," group says
SNAP also wants Rudy to address cover up charges, not just abuse charges, against pal
Presidential hopeful keeps paying suspended cleric as he stops in Missouri cities today
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims wants Rudy Giuliani to file a formal complaint against a New York prosecutor or 'stop denying' that Giuliani's close friend molested boys and helped cover up child sex crimes by other Catholic clergy.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are challenging Giuliani to "put up or shut up" about allegations against Msgr. Alan Placa, who was suspended by his bishop yet remains on Giuliani's payroll. Giuliani insists Placa's been falsely accused.
SNAP wants the presidential hopeful to either file a bar complaint against the Long Island prosecutor who publicized the allegations against the Placa or admit that the priest is guilty.
"As a citizen, a lawyer, an ex-prosecutor and former public official, Rudy has a moral and legal duty to take action if he really believes prosecutors and grand jurors have done an injustice to his friend," said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's Outreach Director. "If you think serious harm's been done, you have an obligation to try and remedy it, especially if you're a public figure."
If, on the other hand, Giuliani believes Placa is guilty, he should stop saying otherwise in public, Dorris said.
A 2003 Long Island grand jury report accuses Placa of sexually abusing children and helping "cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests" (according to Salon.com). He "was part of a three-person team that handled allegations of abuse by clergy for the Diocese of Rockville Centre" that "resulted in the prevention, hindrance and delay in the discovery of criminal conduct by priests." In 2002, Placa's bishop suspended him from active ministry. He's been on the payroll of Giuliani Partners since then.
As reported in the New York Times, Newsday, and numerous other sources, Giuliani and Placa are boyhood friends and have remained close throughout their adult lives.
"Loyalty to friends is good," said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP's National Director. "But helping and protecting a deceitful, callous child molester who in turn helps other child molesters is not."
Placa also urged church staff to deceive victims, writing in one memo "Please do not identify me as an attorney [to complainants.]" He bragged of how Rockville Centre's handling of abuse claims had resulted in the "lowest ratio of losses to assets of any diocese" and that "In the past 10 years, I have been involved in more than two hundred such cases in various parts of the country." Placa also worked for a Worcester, Mass. Center for pedophile priests. According to the grand jury, several adults testified that they were molested as kids by Placa, including an Albany man named Richard Tollner and two others.
The grand jury heard from 97 witnesses over nine months, and uncovered "deception and intimidation" by diocesan officials.
According to Newsday, the grand jury report "routinely said that Placa dragged out cases to make legal redress difficult. Victims were often 'ignored, belittled and revictimized. In some cases, the grand jury finds that the diocese procrastinated for the sole purpose of making sure that the civil and criminal statutes of limitation were no longer applicable.'"
Giuliani is making campaign stops today in three Missouri cities. In October, at a fundraiser in St. Louis, SNAP members picketed and handed out leaflets urging Giuliani to fire Placa.
A copy of SNAP's letter to Giuliani, sent today by fax and e mail to his campaign headquarters, is below:
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests