Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Pedophile priest goes on trial

He molested Maryland boy in 2002

That victim settled his civil sex abuse lawsuit for $1.2 million

Just recently, cleric was accused of assaulting two young Massachusetts boys too

Parents and co-workers warned church officials about predator at least 20 years earlier

Before and after a criminal child sex abuse trial against a Catholic priest, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- be available to discuss the case,
-- prod Catholic officials to ‘aggressively reach out’ to other victims and witnesses, and .
-- urge anyone who saw suspected or suffered his crimes to come forward, get help and call police.

Monday, July 13, 9:30 a.m.

Judicial Center, 50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850

Three clergy sex abuse victims who are members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,

A criminal trial involving a serial predator priest is set to begin tomorrow, Monday, in Rockville, MD. The accused is Fr. Aaron (“A.J.”) Cote who turned himself in last year to the Montgomery County police for sexually

abusing an altar boy, Brandon Rains, at Mother Seton Parish in Germantown in 2001 and 2002. Cote was an associate pastor there at the time.

The trial will be in Court Room 17, 6th floor, before Judge Louise Scribner. There will be no jury.

In 2003, frustrated with the police investigation, Rains filed a civil lawsuit against Cote and his church superiors. The suit said the Catholic hierarchy knew Cote was “a threat to kids” for more than 20 years, yet kept

moving him and keeping him in ministry until he was sued in 2005. That suit was settled in 2007 for $1.2 million.

In April 2008, Cote was also sued for molesting two Springfield Massachusetts brothers in 2003. The victims were then less than five years old at the time.

Cote committed the Massachusetts crimes while on suspension for molesting Rains

Despite at least six separate, credible child sex abuse allegations, Catholic officials kept Cote working in parishes, until Rains filed his civil lawsuit. Church staffers also refused to tell police about an Ohio parochial teacher who was in touch with another young victim of Cote’s.

Thirty pages of previously-secret documents, disclosed by victims' attorneys, show that Catholic authorities were worried and warned about Cote’s excessive drinking and his disturbing interest in children even during his seminary days. They considered not ordaining him. The case is clear proof, SNAP says, of how church officials in general (and religious orders in particular) ignore the US bishops’ weak and vague child sex abuse policies adopted seven years ago.

Cote, a Massachusetts native, has worked in
-- Peru (where records show he repeatedly & inappropriately let kids be and stay in priests’ living quarters),
-- Ohio (where he was also accused of molesting a boy in the Columbus diocese),
-- Western Massachusetts (in Chicopee, Westfield and South Hadley),
-- Boston (at a home for emotionally disturbed kids in 1980-81),
-- Maryland (where he worked two parishes and abused Rains’) and (most recently),
-- Rhode Island (where he was transferred to a Providence parish after Rains reported his abuse).

Cote belongs to a religious order called the Dominicans. Their headquarters is in New York City. His victims have been represented by attorneys Jeff Anderson (of St. Paul MN, 612 817 8665 cell), MIchael Hoare (of DC) & Michael Dowd (of NY, 212 751 1640 office).

Becky Ianni 703 801 6044, David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests