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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

More clergy sex abuse cases are tossed out

At least 20 California victims are denied 'chance for justice'

SNAP blasts Catholic officials for ‘exploiting legal technicalities’

'Act like compassionate shepherds, not cold-hearted CEOs," victims tell bishops

Court decision should not deter those who were molested from 'coming forward, getting help & calling police'

WHAT At a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
--- announce and discuss a new court ruling that mean 5 more clergy sex abuse lawsuits can not go forward,
--- harshly criticize Catholic officials in San Diego and across the state for continuing to 'exploit legal technicalities' and use other maneuvers to prevent clergy sex crimes and cover ups from being exposed in court,
--- express confidence that the ruling will be overturned, and
--- urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes, by clergy or other trusted figures, to come forward, get help and call police regardless of how long ago the offenses took place.

WHEN
TODAY, Thursday, Feb. 26, 1:15 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the San Diego diocesan headquarters, 3888 Paducah Drive, in San Diego

WHO
Several men and women who were sexually assaulted as kids by Catholic employees and who belong to a nationwide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

VISUALS
The group will have copies of the judge's ruling and photos of themselves as children.

DETAILS
Last Friday, in a Los Angeles Court room, Judge Emelie Elias dismissed five more Catholic clergy sex abuse and cover up cases because of the statute of limitations. Months earlier, she had rejected another 15 cases. (Most of the cases are from southern California.) In both instances, Catholic officials claimed that the victims had not taken legal action soon enough and should be denied a chance to seek justice in court.

Some of the accused priests in the case are Father Robert Koerner and Father Franklin Buckman.

At best, Elias' ruling will delay exposing the truth about predator priests and their complicit supervisors, SNAP feels. At worst, the rulings may deny dozens of child sex abuse victims an opportunity to achieve some measure of healing, closure, justice and prevention.

SNAP is hopeful that all of these cases will be successfully appealed and the victims will have a chance to expose their predators in court, along with church officials who may have ignored or concealed the crimes. Still, it’s a setback to already wounded and still suffering adults who were assaulted as kids.

Two weeks ago, a three judge appeals court in northern California overturned an Alamedia County Superior Court ruling by Judge Kenneth Burr and opened the doors to more civil lawsuits from victims who were molested as children but only discovered the source of their adult difficulties in recent years. (That case involved six Quarry brothers who sued in 2006 lawsuit for being molested by the same cleric.)

More and more judges across the country, SNAP says, are gradually realizing that many who were sexually assaulted during their youth don't realize that the childhood crimes caused on-going and severe trauma that still impacts them years later as adults.

Most of the victims involved are represented by San Diego attorney Irwin Zalkin (858 259-3011).who has handled hundreds of institutional child sex abuse cases.

CONTACT
Paul Livingston of San Diego, SNAP Diego SNAP Director 619 677 7133 or 619 847 3998, Ryan DiMaria 949 387 0468


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


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