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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Suicide victim's pal appeals to archbishop

He urges top Newark Catholic official to help police

Predator priest molested his best childhood friend in Jersey City

SNAP to hand deliver letter to local church hierarchy urging outreach

Group blasts archdiocese for inaction & says nine victims have come forward

After conviction, church quietly moved known predator to Missouri where he hurt others

Law enforcement there has opened investigation; victims want NJ authorities to do likewise

Dangerous child molesting cleric hasn't been defrocked, still walks free & has been counselor

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose
-- nine victims of a convicted predator priest have come forward, and
-- law enforcement officials in Missouri are actively investigating allegations against him.

Afterwards, they will try to hand deliver a letter from a former New Jersey man whose best childhood friend committed suicide after having been molested by the predator priest.

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

WHEN
Friday, Oct. 2, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
Outside the Newark archdiocese headquarters, 171 Clifton Ave. in Newark NJ

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 Missouri woman who is the organization's long time outreach director

WHY
In August, a clergy sex abuse victim, Dr. Mark McAllister, revealed a $600,000 settlement he reached with three Catholic institutions connected with a serial predator, Fr. Carmen C. Sita.

In 1982, Sita was convicted of molesting a Jersey City boy who attended St. Aloysius Grammar School. That child later committed suicide. Today, his best childhood friend, Paul Flaherty (415 384 0432) is writing Newark Archbishop John Myers, urging him to help police pursue the child molesting cleric.

After his conviction, church officials let Sita legally change his name to Gerald ("Gerry") Howard and sent him to an unsuspecting parish in Boonville Missouri, where he molested McAllister. Law enforcement in that community has heard from several victims and is now pursuing possible criminal charges against the priest. SNAP is urging New Jersey authorities - both secular and church - to aggressively seek out and help anyone else Howard hurt here. The organization believes Howard could still be jailed due to his child sex crimes.

SNAP is encouraging anyone who saw, suspected or suffered Howard’s crimes - either in New Jersey or Missouri - to call police.

Almost two years ago, McAllister reported the abuse to church officials, who quickly found him credible but chose to keep his allegations secret. In late June, McAllister agreed to the 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 of the settlement, church staff kept silent about Howard's crimes.

Howard remains a Newark archdiocesan 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 Newark's archbishop begin defrocking Howard. That hasn't happened yet.

SNAP is urging church staff in both states to a) put notices about Sita/Howard in every parish bulletin, the diocesan website and in the diocesan newspaper, begging victims and witnesses to come forward, b) to 'come clean' about other secret settlements involving predator priests and other church employees, and c) disclose the identities of any other child molesting clerics who have changed their names.

For six years (1976-1982), Howard worked at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Jersey City (201-433-6365). For a while, Howard attended Rutgers University. In the mid-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. Earlier this week, in Missouri, SNAP disclosed that Sita also worked at a Columbia hospital counseling troubled and vulnerable teens in the mid-1980s, after being ousted from his Boonville church.

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). 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).

Howard was born in 1945, is now in his 60s, and was ordained in 1976.

CONTACT
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell, Mark Crawford 732 632 7687, David Clohessy 314 566 9790


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