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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Sex abuse victim's father speaks out for first time

His son just settled pedophile priest & cover up case for $600,000

Four other victims of convicted cleric have come forward in just one week

NJ church officials now claim they warned MO church officials about predator

Wounded doctor's dad vows "to do all I can to get convicted predator locked up"

Catholic authorities know where pedophile is but even now refuse to alert his neighbors

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, an angry man whose only son was molested by a convicted pedophile priest will discuss
-- his son's abuse as a child by a priest & his recent $600,000 settlement, and
-- his son's subsequent abuse-related traumas (including drug use that led to his medical license being suspended)

Other victims & advocates will
-- disclose that four more victims of the same predator have come forward, and
-- harshly criticize Jefferson City Catholic officials for
--- accepting a convicted predator priest who had legally changed his name,
--- refusing to warn the unsuspecting Boonville families about the pedophile,
--- keeping silent for a year and a half about the victim's credible allegation, and
--- failing to disclose the recent settlement & reach out to others hurt by the priest.

They will also urge others who saw, suspected or suffered the cleric's crimes to call police, so kids can be protected.

DAY
Tuesday, Aug. 25

TIME & LOCATION
At 11:15 a.m. - in Columbia, outside the Catholic Newman Center, 701 Maryland Ave.
At 1:15 p.m. - in Jefferson City, outside the diocesan headquarters, 2207 West Main Street

WHO
A long-time Boonville man whose son was repeatedly molested and given illegal drugs by a priest, along with other victims and victims' relatives. All belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).

WHY
At news conferences in New Jersey on Monday, a Boonville native, Dr. Mark McAllister, spoke publicly for the first time about his suffering at the hands of a predator priest, Fr. Gerald Howard. Ten days ago, SNAP disclosed that McAllister had reached a $600,000 settlement with three Catholic institutions that were responsible for sending Howard, a convicted child molester, to Missouri in the 1980s with no warning to the public and parishioners. http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2009/08/more_alleged_victims_of_jersey.html

Also yesterday, a top Newark Catholic official publicly claimed that the Jefferson City diocese was alerted to Howard’s criminal past. But last week, a Jefferson City diocese spokesman suggested Missouri church officials may not have been fully informed about Howard.

After his 1982 guilty plea, Newark's archbishop let Fr. Carmine Sita legally change his name to Fr. Gerald "Gerry" Howard and sent him, without any disclosure to parishioners or the public, to a Sts. Peter & Paul church in Boonville. For five years, starting in 1983, Howard repeatedly gave drugs and liquor to the then-teenaged McAllister, and severely sexually assaulted him. (McAllister's devout family belonged to the parish.) The crimes took place several places, including church property, and on trips to New York, New Jersey and elsewhere.

A year and a half ago, McAllister reported the abuse to church officials, who quickly found him credible but chose to keep his allegations secret. In late June 2009, McAllister agreed to a settlement from three defendants - the Newark archdiocese (where Howard is from), the Jefferson City diocese (where Howard was sent), and a St. Louis-based Catholic group called the Paracletes (which allegedly 'treated' Howard between diocesan assignments). Until SNAP's announcement, church staff kept silent about Howard's crimes and McAllister's settlement.

Howard remains a priest though he's allegedly not working in a parish. Church staff refuse to disclose his whereabouts. As part of the settlement, McAllister insisted that church officials begin defrocking Howard.

For six years (1976-1982), Howard worked at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Jersey City (201-433-6365), where he abused a young parishioner. For a while, Howard attended Rutgers University. In the 1980s, after being ousted from his Boonville parish, Howard moved to Columbia MO where it is believed that he took counseling courses at the University of Missouri. He was born in 1945, is now in his 60s, and was ordained in 1976.

McAllister is in his 30s, married and lives in Roanoke VA now. He is represented by two Missouri attorneys Ken Chackes of St. Louis (314 872 8420, 314 369 3902 cell) and Bryan Bacon of Columbia (573 874 7777, 314 566 8386 cell). Attorneys representing the defendants include Jeffrey Jones (for the Paracletes, 505-466-3426), Charles Carella (for the Newark diocese, 973-994-1700), Lucie Huger, Bernard Huger, & Ed Goldenhersh (for Jeff City diocese, 314-241-9090).

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell


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


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