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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

 

For Immediate Release:
June 30, 2008

For More Information:
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee) 414.429.7249
Barbara Dorris, SNAP National Outreach Coordinator (St. Louis), 314.503.0003
John Pilmaier, SNAP Milwaukee, 414.3668575
Mike Sneesby, SNAP Milwaukee, 414.915.474

Another fleeing cleric arrested for child sex assault in Milwaukee

Brother David Nickerson scheduled for court appearance Monday afternoon

Confessed to authorities after letting wrong man get convicted last year

3rd Wisconsin cleric arrested at church run “fugitive hide-away” outside St. Louis

Friday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling should “green light” more arrests

WHAT

Brother David Nickerson, a religious order cleric who worked in parishes and schools in Milwaukee, will make his first court appearance for child sex assault while working in the 1980’s at a south side parish and school.   Nickerson confessed to authorities last year of the crimes after allowing the wrong man to be convicted.

At simultaneous press events in Milwaukee and St. Louis, victims of clergy sexual abuse will be calling on church authorities to turn over to prosecutors all criminal evidence they have concerning clergy who have fled Wisconsin and other states after committing child sex crimes, especially from church operated facilities like the so-called “Wounded Brothers Project” outside St. Louis.

WHO

Milwaukee and St. Louis Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation’s largest self-help organization of survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

WHERE

-IN MILWAUKEE:  Milwaukee County Courthouse, Room 146, Criminal Justice Facility

-In ST. Louis:  Outside Chancery headquarters

WHEN

 Monday, June 30:

-IN MILWAUKEE: Court hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., remarks by SNAP leaders to follow

-IN St. Louis: 2:00 p.m.

WHY

Last week Wisconsin authorities arrested another cleric who with the aid of church authorities appears to have fled Wisconsin after committing sex crimes here against children.

Brother David Nickerson, a religious order cleric, is scheduled Monday, June 30th, to make his first court appearance (Milwaukee County case number 2008CF003059). 

Nickerson admitted to authorities last year he had committed the assaults after the wrong man was imprisoned. 

Nickerson lives at the so-called “Wounded Brothers Project” outside of St. Louis, a church operated “retreat” facility which is one of several collection centers for bishops and religious orders to send clerics they determine have assaulted children and being provided potential sanctuary from prosecution.  The Wounded Brothers facility has faced growing criticism from victims groups and others in Missouri for shielding fugitive clerics, like Nickerson, and not turning over criminal evidence to authorities. 

Nickerson is the third Catholic cleric arrested at the Wounded Brothers Project for sex crimes in Wisconsin, including Fr. Bruce Duncan MacArthur. 

On Friday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld MacArthur’s arrest by Juneau County for sexually assaulting children in Beaver Dam as a hospital chaplain in the 1970’s MacArthur also raped children in three Milwaukee parishes.

Nickerson is the sixteenth cleric arrested and brought back to Wisconsin since the sexual abuse scandal erupted in the Catholic church using the provision upheld by the court, among them a nun who molested children in Milwaukee, Mother Theresa’s world renown Jesuit spiritual director who would bring youngsters to Lake Geneva from Chicago and abuse them, and a Methodist Minster who fled Barron County after raping a teenager. 

SNAP officials will be calling on  Archbishop Timothy Dolan, consequent with the new court ruling, to turn over immediately to state law enforcement all evidence concerning the transfer out of Wisconsin of any priest, nun or religious order cleric who left the state under suspicion of child sexual abuse.

CONTACT
Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee) 414.429.7249
Barbara Dorris, SNAP National Outreach Coordinator (St. Louis), 314.503.0003
John Pilmaier, SNAP Milwaukee, 414.3668575
Mike Sneesby, SNAP Milwaukee, 414.915.474

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


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