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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

Clergy sex victim speaks publicly for first time

He was assaulted by predator who essentially admits his guilt

SNAP challenges Orlando bishop to respond about recent disclosures

Group produced evidence that church officials knew of abuse long ago

Yet Catholic officials remain silent, rather that admit they concealed crimes

Group urges “victims, witnesses & whistleblowers” to “come forward, call cops, get help”

WHAT
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy molestation victim will
-- speak publicly, for the first time, about his victimization at the hands of a pedophile priest from Orlando,
-- disclose that he settled his case against the diocese for the abuse he suffered,
-- discuss the deposition he gave today, Friday, as a witness in another case against the predator, and
-- blast Orlando Catholic officials for keeping a known sex offender in parishes, and not working harder now to find and help other victims.

With other victims, he'll also urge anyone else who saw, suspected or suffered the cleric's crimes to come forward, speak up, get help and call police, so that the predator priest might be charged, convicted and jailed.

WHEN
TODAY, Saturday, May 30, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk, outside the diocesan chancery office, 50 East Robinson (corner of Rosalind) in Orlando

WHO
Three members of a support group for clergy molestation victims called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including one who was assaulted as a child by an Orlando priest and who recently resolved his civil lawsuit

WHY
At least two child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits have been settled against the Orlando diocese for the crimes of Fr. Vernon Uhran. One of them involved Jeff Hall who was assaulted by Uhran in the 1960s at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic church.

In 1970, Hall and his family also told then-Bishop John Borders about Uhran's sexual abuse. Church officials, however, kept Uhran in ministry, and he went on to molest other kids.

Until last month, no evidence had surfaced publicly showing that Uhran actually molested kids or that his diocesan supervisors had been warned about his sexual misconduct years earlier. But proof of both facts was contained in legal documents SNAP disclosed at a new conference in April. At that event, SNAP released two depositions involving Uhran. (See Orlando Sentinel story.) In one, Uhran repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. In another, the mother of a Uhran victim swore she also told Borders of Uhran’s crimes long ago.

Uhran is now 69, and lives in the Nashville, TN area. His victims have been represented by Miami attorney Adam Horowitz (305 931 2200 office, 305 298 7713 cell).

Hall, the victim speaking today for the first time, now lives in Augusta, Georgia. He can be reached at 706 736 4343 or 706 829 1514. Hall was deposed as a witness Friday morning in another child sex abuse and cover up case against Uhran and the diocese.

Orlando Bishop Thomas Wenski has been criticized often by SNAP, especially for what the group calls his ‘on going secrecy.’ Six years ago, America’s bishops pledged to be ‘open and transparent’ about clergy sex cases. SNAP believes Wenski should have publicized allegations much earlier against Uhran and at least two other accused clerics: Fr. Jose Mean and Fr. Carlos Bedoya.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2005_01_06/2005_03_02_Dymond_TampaMan.htm
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/community/news/clermont/orl-priestabuse2608apr26,0,348757.story

CONTACT
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director (314 566 9790 cell), Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director (314 503 0003), Richard Henkel, SNAP Orlando SNAP Director (407 645 4447, 407 702 8688)


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