The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Big IL Supreme Court ruling on clergy sex abuse comes today
Decision will either help or stop victims from exposing more predators
But 3 Catholic bishops - in TX, MO & IL - are fighting to keep victims out of court
Ruling may ease statute of limitations & give victims more time to expose pedophiles
"It's morally wrong to try and exploit legal technicalities" self help group tells church officials
In odd case, bishops in three dioceses distance themselves from prominent predator priest
Ohio cleric wrote popular book "From Playboy to Priest" & walks free despite multiple allegations
In Springfield, a St. Louis man who is the national director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (Staff from the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault will also be available to answer questions.)
The 3 bishops are claiming that Amenn filed his lawsuit too late. But in 2008, a three judge panel in Illinois’ Fifth District Court of Appeals in Mt. Vernon ruled that Amenn's case could proceed. That ruling relaxed the statute of limitations, and opened the door to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other lawsuits like Amenn’s.
In November 2008, however, the three Catholic bishops appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court to try and overturn it. Oral arguments were heard in March 2009. The litigation stems from a 2003 state law that makes it easier for victims to expose child molesters in court.
In defending themselves, the three bishops are essentially blaming each other for the notorious priest’s sex crimes and distancing themselves from him, SNAP says. SNAP charges that the top church officials are engaging in "disgusting, unChristian, and hurtful hairsplitting" and "using legal maneuvers that are unbecoming of alleged spiritual leaders.” Instead of taking responsibility and showing compassion, SNAP maintains, the bishops "are spending thousands of dollars, donated by generous parishioners, to point fingers, shift blame, and protect themselves instead of protecting kids”
Because of several child sex abuse allegations against him, Roberts has been suspended but not defrocked. Church records show that Roberts has violated his suspension and has been “associating with children and teenagers."
Roberts is the author of several highly popular books, including "From Playboy to Priest" and has appeared in recent years on a widely-watched Catholic program through the Eternal Word Television Network. He now lives in the Cincinnati Ohio area. For a decade, Roberts lived and worked in three St. Louis are parishes.
A photo of Roberts is available at http://fatherjoe.wordpress.com/2007/04/03/usccb-monitus-fr-ken-roberts/
The victim’s attorney is Jeff Anderson of St. Paul MN (612 817 8665 cell). Since the mid-1980s, Anderson's firm has sued hundreds of employers, primarily religious groups, for hiring, shielding and transferring child molesters.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests