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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Accused child molesting cleric also worked at local hospital, group says

After being ousted, church let convicted predator move to Columbia & work with teens

He had already been convicted of sexually assaulting one New Jersy & changed his name

SNAP urges former staff and patients to "come forward, get help, call police, & start healing"

And new records show that another out-of-state pedophile priest also lived in Jeff City diocese

Court ruling just last week means prominent priest/"playboy"/author will likely escape justice

WHAT
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose new information about two out-of-state predator priests who spent time in mid-Missouri.

One, from New Jersey, worked at a now-closed Columbia hospital,counseling troubled youth there.

The other, from Texas, lived in the Jefferson City diocese.

Neither of these facts has been publicly reported before. Both clerics have been suspended and sued before. Neither has apparently been defrocked.

They group will also
-- publicly prod local Catholic officials to 'come clean' with church records about both pedophiles, and
-- beg anyone with information about the two pedophiles to call police immediately

WHEN
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 1 :15 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the main police station downtown, 600 East Walnut (corner of Sixth), in Columbia MO

WHO
Two-three child sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis man who is the organization's long time national director

WHY
Over the past few weeks, SNAP has learned from former patients and staff that a convicted pedophile priest, Fr. Gerry Howard, worked at the now-shuttered Charter Hospital in the mid 1980s, after being ousted from his Boonville parish. Howard reportedly was a counselor for teenagers, despite his criminal record. (Howard molested at least one child at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Boonville, where he worked before moving to Columbia.)

SNAP will provide copies of a recent letter from one of Howard's former co-workers who is now a Columbia police officer confirming Howard's employment at the hospital.)

SNAP is encouraging anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes - either in Columbia or Boonville - to call police. Cooper County authorities are investigating allegations into him and hopes that others who were hurt by Howard in Boone County will also step forwrd and call law enforcement.

SNAP has also just learned new information recently about another credibly accused pedophile priest, Fr. Kenneth J. Roberts, lived in the Jefferson City Diocese. New court records show that Roberts, a nationally-known author of "From Playboy to Priest," retired to Osage Beach.

The group will release copies of two documents proving this. One is a letter from Roberts to his bishop, indicating that he's living at the Lake and has "a close priest friend" and other friends there. The other is an "intake form" for pedophile priest cases, filled out by hand by a church official. In it, Robert's home is listed at the Osage Beach address.

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a civil case against Roberts could not proceed because the victim didn't come forward quickly enough.

Since he faced allegations nearby (St. Louis and Belleville IL), SNAP suspects that Roberts hurt others in Missouri who are still suffering in silence, confusion and self-blame. The group wants to seek them out and help them.

SNAP is also harshly criticizing Jefferson City church officials for keeping silent about a credibly accused predator (Roberts) and doing little or nothing to reach out to and help victims of either pedophile.

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, Judy Block Jones, 636 433 2511, Don Asbee 573 864 1459, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell


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