Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex abuse victims disclose $600,000 settlement

Catholic priest was convicted of molesting a kid in NJ

Then, church quietly moved him to unsuspecting Cooper County parish

In between, he legally changed his name & was sent to 'treatment' center

Self help group blasts St. Louis-based religious order for 'secrecy & callousness'

SNAP: St. Louis perp center should disclose names of other criminals they've released'

Victims also want Archbishop Carlson to publicly blast Sunset Hills Paracletes for "recklessness"

At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose
-- one of Missouri's largest ever pedophile priest settlements, and
-- the identity of the predator never before publicly exposed.

They will also harshly criticize St. Louis, Jeff City & New Jersey Catholic officials for
-- secretly moving the predator priest to an unsuspecting rural Missouri parish (despite his criminal conviction for molesting in New Jersey), and
-- keeping silent for a year and a half about the second credible allegation against the pedophile priest

The victims will also
-- urge St. Louis' new archbishop to publicly criticize the St. Louis-based order which has kept secret about the predator, and
-- urge the St. Louis pedophile priest center to disclose the names of predators it has housed and released.

Thursday, Aug. 13 at 1:30 p.m.

Outside the St. Louis archdiocese headquarters, 4445 Lindell (near Taylor) in the CWE

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

Carmine C. Sita was ordained a priest in Newark in 1976. In the 1980s, Sita was convicted of sexually abusing a boy in New Jersey. He was then sent to a church-run center for pedophile priests in New Mexico which was run by a St. Louis-based religious order, and legally changed his name to Gerry Howard. He was then sent to work in the Jefferson City Diocese where he molested again from 1983-88, repeatedly sexually violated a teenager at a Boonville parish.

The second victim, now in his 40s, reported the abuse he suffered to church authorities a year and a half ago. Yet officials in St. Louis, Jefferson City and New Jersey kept secret about his report, even though the priest still walks free today. That secrecy, SNAP believes, violates the US bishops sex abuse policy, which allegedly mandates "openness and transparency" in clergy sex cases. SNAP wants Carlson to speak out against this recklessness and silence.

After a mediation in late June in St. Louis, the victim agreed to a $600,000 settlement from the three defendants - the Jefferson City diocese (where Howard was sent), the Newark archdiocese (where Howard is from), and a religious order, the St. Louis-based Paracletes, a religious order (where Howard was 'treated' between diocesan assignments).

The Paracletes have their national headquarters in Sunset Hills and still operate at least two local facilities that house dozens of sex offending and emotionally troubled and addicted priests. For the sake of public safety, SNAP wants the Paracletes to disclose the names of other convicted predators, like Howard, they have housed and released.

After being ousted from his Boonville parish, Howard moved to Columbia and lived off Lake of the Woods Road for several years. It is believed that he took counseling courses at the University of Missouri. For six years (1976-1982), Howard worked at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Jersey City NJ. (691 West Side Ave., 201-433-6365). For a while, he attended Rutgers University.

Now in his 60s, Howard remains a priest, though he's allegedly not working in a parish and his whereabouts are not known. As part of the settlement, the victim insisted that church officials begin defrocking Howard.

The new settlement is believed to be among the four or five largest ever among clergy sex cases in Missouri.

The victim is married, in his 30s, and lives in Roanoke VA now. (He will NOT be at the news conference) He is represented by St. Louis attorney Ken Chackes (314 872 8420, 314 369 3902 cell) and former St. Louisan Bryan Bacon, now an attorney in Columbia (573-874-7777 office, 314 566 8386 cell). Attorneys representing the defendants include Lucie Huger, Bernard Huger, & Ed Goldenhersh (for Jeff City diocese, 314-241-9090), Jeffrey Jones (for the Paracletes, 505-466-3426), and Charles Carella (for the Newark diocese, 973-994-1700). The Hugers and Goldenhersch also represent the St. Louis archdiocese in clergy sex cases.

David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, Barbara Dorris 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests