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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims


For Immediate Release:
Monday, April 7, 2008

For More Information:
Attorneys Attorney Michael Dowd (212 751 1640 office) and Jeff Anderson (612 817 8665 cell)

Pedophile priest molests 2 pre-school boys in 2005, lawsuit says

He was already on suspension for sexually assaulting another child

Parents and co-workers warned church officials about predator at least 20 years earlier

Another recent sex abuse lawsuit against child-molesting clergyman settled for $1.2 million

Just five years ago, his Catholic superiors withheld info from police about a fourth victim

Even now, a week before Pope visits, Catholic religious order is still " reckless” lawyers say


At a sidewalk news conference, very recent child sex crimes and a new civil child molestation case (involving two pre-school brothers, a notorious pedophile priest, and a New York-based international Catholic religious order) will be disclosed and discussed.

In a previous lawsuit against the same predator, evidence showed that

--- his superiors knew he was “a threat to kids” for more than 20 years,

--- yet they kept moving him and keeping him in parish ministry until 2005, and

--- during a recent police investigation, they failed to notify police about reports of a 4th victim.


Tuesday, April. 8, 11:00 a.m.


Outside the Dominican Provincial House (near St. Vincent Ferrer’s) 869 Lexington (near 65th) in NYC (where the predator is believed to be living now)


A Maryland mom (whose now 21 year old son was repeatedly assaulted by the priest) and two attorneys representing the two most recent young victims


Between 2002-2005, even after he’d been suspended for child molestation, Fr. Aaron (“A.J.”) Cote sexually abused two Springfield Massachusetts brothers who were then less than five years old.

Despite at least six separate, credible child sex abuse allegations, New York Catholic officials kept Cote working in parishes, until a civil lawsuit was filed against him in 2005 (involving a different victim). They also refused to tell police about a Catholic teacher who was in touch with another young victim of Cote’s.

Last year, Brandon Rains settled a civil child molestation lawsuit he filed in 2005 against Cote and his superiors in the Dominicans (a religious order).In 2001-2002, Cote repeatedly abused the then-teenaged Rains in the DC-area.

Thirty pages of previously-secret documents show that Catholic authorities were worried and warned about Cote’s excessive drinking and his disturbing interest in children even during his seminary days. They considered not ordaining him. Yet they kept transferring Cote to new parishes until Rains sued in 2005.

Cote has worked in

--Peru (where records show he repeatedly & inappropriately let kids be and stay in priests’ living quarters)

-- Ohio (where he was also accused of molesting a boy in the Columbus diocese)

-- Maryland (where he worked two parishes and abused Rains’) and (most recently),

-- Rhode Island (where he was transferred to a Providence parish after Rains reported his abuse).

The case is clear proof, attorneys say, of how church officials in general (and religious orders in particular) ignore the US bishops weak and vague but highly-touted child sex abuse policies adopted six years ago

Attorneys Attorney Michael Dowd (212 751 1640 office) and Jeff Anderson (612 817 8665 cell)

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests