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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

Priest sues priest for abusing him. Perp worked in NC

NOTE - This new lawsuit involves a priest who was molested as a kid by a priest. Just 9 years ago, the perpetrator was working at a Catholic church in Hickory, NC. The news conference is happening in California, however, because that's where the abuse took place.

In odd case, priest sues priest who molested him

Victim speaks publicly for the first time about his ordeal

Unusual new lawsuit also targets Orange Catholic diocese

When he reported crimes to his bishop, victim was ostracized

Suspended abuser faces allegations from youngsters in 3 states

Predator now works as a college professor in Virginia and Europe

What:

At a sidewalk news conference, a priest who was molested as a child by a priest will announce his new unusual child sex abuse lawsuit against the predator and a Catholic bishop.

The pedophile worked as a cleric in three states, was sued and suspended, and is now living and working in Europe.

When:

Monday April 20th at 1:00 p.m.

Where:

Outside Orange Diocese headquarters, 2811 East Villa Real Drive, Orange CA

Who:

The victim, his Sacramento attorney and one or two leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Why:

In 1980, when he was 15 and his parents were divorcing, Ben M. Rodriguez met Fr. Gordon J. Pillon at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in La Habra, CA. Pillon counseled Ben, and quickly became very influential in Ben’s life, persuading Ben to leave his family and live with various parishioners. Over time, Pillon. lured Ben into his private apartment, gave Ben drugs and alcohol, and repeatedly sexually abused him.

According to the lawsuit, because of Pillon’s “position as a holy man and authority figure (he) was able to continue to have control and influence” over Ben. Heeding Pillon's advice, Ben attended seminary, moved to Peoria (as did Pillon), and was ordained in the diocese there.

In 2006, Ben began to understand that Pillon had molested him, disclosed it to Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky, but was essentially ostracized by most of his supervisors and clergy colleagues.

(The same year, Jenky publicly suspended Pillon because of credible abuse reports against him.)

Ben, now 45 years old, was born in Whittier, CA and raised in LaHabra CA. He attended seminaries in California and Maryland.

Pillon, now 55, is an Orange native, and worked as a priest in three dioceses (Orange, Peoria and Charlotte, NC, where he worked until 2000 at a church in Hickory). Young people from all three dioceses have made complaints about Pillon's inappropriate sexual behavior. He is now a college professor at the University of Northern Virginia at the school’s campus in Prague (Czech Republic).

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, is being filed in Orange County Superior Court.

Only a handful of priests have taken legal action against priests who abused them as kids. (They include Fr. Gary Hayes of Kentucky and Fr. John Bambrick of New Jersey.)

Contact:

Attorney Joseph C. George, PhD. 916 802 7949 cell, 916 442 7100

Attorney Jeff Anderson 651 227 9990, 612 817 8665 cell


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