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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

SNAP event in Miami Wednesday

Catholic priest allegedly molested two kids at Boystown

SNAP says church officials should disclose predator's status and whereabouts

One boy later sought church counseling and was abused again, by a different cleric

Self help group will also harshly criticize Catholic hierarchy for new ruling and "legal hardball"

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy molestation victims will disclose the filing of two new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits against a priest, and urge Miami Catholic officials to
--- disclose the suspended predator's whereabouts and clerical status, and
--- use their 'vast resources' to aggressively reach out" to others he may have hurt.

They will also
-- prod anyone who saw, suspected or suffered the cleric's crimes to call police and get independent help, and
-- harshly criticize Miami's archbishop for his recent successful legal maneuver to stop victims of child sex crimes from seeking justice in court

When:
Wednesday, Sept. 30, 11:15 a.m.

Where:
Outside and just south of the Miami Catholic archdiocese headquarters, 9401 Biscayne Blvd, in Miami (305-757-6241)

Who:
An attorney and two adults who were sexually abused as kids, including a Missouri woman who is the outreach director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Why:
Two men are suing the Miami Catholic Archdiocese and Boystown of South Florida, Inc. for alleged childhood sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of Fr. Neil Flemming, an archdiocesan cleric.

One boy got into trouble when he was about 14 years old (in 1966). His mother was urged to send him to Boystown but told she should first bring him to Flemming, who would take her child on to Boystown. For two days, Flemming repeatedly molested the boy in the rectory.

Later, after turning 18, the boy sought counseling from the Miami Archdiocese for the pain he felt from Flemming's abuse. He with with Fr. Neil Doherty (a.k.a. "Fr. Gus"). Doherty drugged him and assaulted him. (Documents in Doherty’s personnel file show that the Archdiocese has known since at least the early 1970s that Doherty was drugging and sexually assaulting teenagers. They continued to receive reports through the 1980s, and in 1992, finally sent Doherty to treatment. Over the years, Doherty has faced several child sex abuse lawsuits.)

The other boy's parents died and he was sent to live at Boystown in 1965. Flemming took him on an overnight trip to a home in West Palm Beach, gave the boy liquor and insisted they share a bed. During the night, Flemming masturbated the boy, and tried to make the boy masturbate him in return.

Flemming was removed from active ministry in 2002. In 2004, a different boy filed a civil lawsuit charging that Flemming and Flemming's brother James (who was not yet a priest at the time) while the boy was living at the Boystown compound in West Kendall roughly 30 years ago. That suit was settled that same year.

The men in the new suits are represented by Miami attorneys Stuart Mermelstein (305-931-2200 office) and Jessica Arbour (612-281-4945 cell)

One victim is now 60 with adult children. The other is now 57 and has no kids. Both are married and live out of state - one in Texas and one in North Carolina.

Last week, archdiocesan officials won a Florida appeals court ruling that SNAP says essentially gives the 'green light' to any irresponsible employer or co-worker who opts to stay silent when an employee admits having molested children. SNAP feels the decision basically encourages those who know about or are enable horrific crimes to do nothing, and hope that an archaic, arbitrary legal deadline will pass, so they can escape detection and criticism and consequences for their misdeeds. The group feels it's immoral when church officials act like cold-hearted CEOs instead of caring shepherds, and exploit legal technicalities to help predator priests and hurt their victims. It's worse, SNAP says, when such callous, self-serving courtroom maneuvers endanger other kids and hurt victims of other predators.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news3/2004_01_21_Figueras_TwoPriests_James_Flemming_1.htm

Contact:
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis MO, SNAP National Outreach Director 314 503 0003
David Clohessy of St. Louis MO, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790


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


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