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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:
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

For more information:
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, 414.429.7259
John Pilmaier, SNAP Milwaukee, 414.336.8575

New Fraud Lawsuit Filed Against Milwaukee Archdiocese

Under WI court ruling, victims after 1970 should have viable case 

Victims want pastor to urge congregation, Dolan to support registry bill

WHO

Victims of sexual assault as children by clergy of the Milwaukee Archdiocese who are leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will discuss a new fraud lawsuit filed Wednesday morning against bishops of the archdiocese who covered up child sex crimes by Fr. Franklyn Becker and hand deliver a letter to the pastor of Holy Family parish in Whitefish Bay. 

Becker sexually assaulted the plaintiff in the new lawsuit, Jim Essenberg, when Essenberg was an altar boy in the 1970’s, first at a parish on the West side of Milwaukee and then at Holy Family rectory in Whitefish Bay. 

Victims will then hand deliver a letter to the pastor of Holy Family parish in Whitefish Bay urging him to support a bill introduced this spring by state representative Peggy Krusick and Senator Tim Carpenter, AB949, that would put all known clergy sex offenders on a public state registry. 

A court ordered release of church records in February shows that the archdiocese covered up Becker’s crimes for almost four decades. 

WHERE

In front of the rectory of Holy Family Parish in Whitefish Bay, 4825 Whitewood Avenue, Whitefish Bay

WHEN:

Wednesday, June 25, 1:30 p.m.

WHAT

Wednesday morning a new fraud lawsuit is being filed against the bishops of the archdiocese of Milwaukee concerning the cover up of sex crimes by one of the archdiocese most prolific child molesters, Fr. Franklyn Becker.  Earlier this year, a California court ordered Archbishop Timothy Dolan to release hundreds of pages of secret church files documenting over four decades Becker’s crimes against children that were known church officials.    

The lawsuit is being filed by Jim Essenberg who was sexually abused by Becker as an altar boy at St. John Deneponick in Milwaukee and then Holy Family parish in Whitefish Bay in the early 1970’s.  According to the records, the archdiocese knew that Becker was assaulting boys since at least 1970.  Essenberg and any youngster sexually abused since that date is permitted under a new Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling to file for fraud.

Following the release of Becker’s file, state representative Peggy Krusick of Milwaukee introduced AB949 a bill that would require religious denominations to turn over to state authorities for publication the identities and case histories of all clergy and church employees known to have assaulted children since 1950. 

Victims will be urging Holy Family parish leaders to support Krusick’s initiative.   

Essenberg’s is the eighth fraud lawsuit filed against the archdiocese concerning three archdiocesan sex offender priests.  Becker currently lives in Mayville. 

CONTACT
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, 414.429.7259
John Pilmaier, SNAP Milwaukee, 414.336.8575


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


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