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SNAP
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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2008

For More Information:
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747 cell
Peter Isely 414 429 7259
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell

Catholic molestation victims to hand out fliers & hold 3 hour vigil

As Pope lands, they gather at church where recent pedophile priest worked

Despite credible sex abuse reports, they kept accused predator working for 2 years

Then, even after being suspended, priest abused a 3 year old & a 6 year old in 2004-05

Case shows that little has changed despite bishops’ claims to have reformed themselves

SNAP says church officials “often ignore” the promises they made six years ago in Dallas

WHAT

As the Pope lands in America, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out fliers, wear childhood photos, and hold a sidewalk vigil outside a Washington DC church where a pedophile priest who committed very recent child sex crimes worked.

Just last week, the priest was sued for molesting a three year old boy and a six year old boy in 2004-05.

Evidence obtained in a previous civil suit shows that church officials

--- transferred the predator and kept him in ministry despite clear abuse reports,

--- knew he was “a threat to kids” for more than 20 years, yet kept him in ministry until 2005, and

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

WHEN

Tuesday, April. 15, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

WHERE

Outside St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, 630 E Street SW, Washington DC (202 544 7863)

WHO

Several clergy sex abuse victims including national leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

VISUALS

Victims will have colorful childhood photos of victims as well as a large photo of Fr AJ Cote with the boy he abused in the Archdiocese of Washington DC.

WHY

Last week, a new child sex abuse lawsuit was filed charging that Fr. Aaron (“A.J.”) Cote sexually abused two very young Springfield Massachusetts brothers in 2004-05, after he’d been suspended for molesting a DC area boy a year or two earlier despite reports going back to the 1980’s of Cote’s inappropriate actions with children. Cote was apparently not being monitored by church officials.

In fact, when the DC-area teen reported being recently abused by Cote in 2003, church officials quietly transferred the priest out of state, and assigned him to youth ministry without warning his new parishioners (the exact, long-standing pattern bishops promised they would no longer repeat).

Finally, in 2005, when the DC-area teen filed a civil molestation lawsuit against Cote and his supervisors, Cote was suspended from active ministry. Then, he went on to molest the young brothers.

Church authorities also refused to tell police about a teacher who was in touch with yet another young victim of Cote’s.

Last year, the Washington family settled their 2005 civil child molestation lawsuit against Cote and his superiors for $1.2 million.

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, a Massachusetts native who is now 56, has worked in

-- Peru (where records show church officials received at least four separate complaints about Cote's involvement with children, including sexual conduct)

-- Massachusetts (where he was sent after the reports in Peru)

-- Ohio (where he was also accused of molesting a boy in the Columbus diocese and Cote was reported to church officials in the 80's)

-- Washington DC where he worked at St Dominic’s parish

-- Rhode Island (where he was transferred to a Providence parish after the DC family reported his abuse). &

-- Maryland (where he worked at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Bethesda and Mother Seton Church in Germantown).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/16/AR2005111602414.html

Attorneys Jeff Anderson (612 817 8665 cell) and Michael Dowd (212 751 1640 office) represent the Cote victims.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/13/AR2008041302369.html?hpid=artslot

CONTACT:
Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747 cell
Peter Isely 414 429 7259
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell


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


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