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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex victims challenge school about predators

One faces criminal charges for recent crimes in Haiti

Judge may free him next week; Group strongly objects

The other was “outed” months ago & now lives in New York

Jesuits paid a quiet $25,000 settlement to one of priest's victims

Yet church let him live/work secretly among teenagers for years

Victims blast Catholic institutions for “their recklessness and deceit”

SNAP wants school & church staff to seek out others who were hurt

What:
At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will harshly criticize several Catholic institutions (including 3 in CT) for
--- keeping secret about credible, admitted, sex abuse and misconduct allegations against two prominent Catholic leaders, and
--- not doing more to find and help their victims.

The group will also
-- urge citizens to write a New Haven judge, hoping she'll keep one of the predators jailed, and
-- call on church and school officials to explain and apologize for their “secrecy and recklessness”

They will also provide copies of a clergy sex abuse settlement signed by church officials involving a predator priest whose crimes have never been disclosed in CT

When:
Thursday, Oct. 15, at 1:00 p.m.

Where:
Outside the main entrance to Fairfield University, 1073 N. Benson Rd. (between Osborne Hill Rd. & Dill Rd.) in Fairfield CT

Who:
Two/three men/women who were victimized by Catholic clergy and who are members a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Details:
1) Earlier this month, a Fairfield University alum closely affiliated with the school, Doug Perlitz, was charged with molesting nine kids in Haiti. He ran a social service organization there with close ties to the university. Some media reports suggest that officials ignored or concealed allegations against Perlitz for months.

Next week (Oct. 19), a New Haven judge will decide whether Perlitz should be freed from jail. SNAP strongly feels that, for public safety, he should remain incarcerated. The group will beg citizens to contact Judge U.S. Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis to keep him locked up. (her phone: 203-773-2350 or 203-773-2140, her fax 203-773-2304 or 203-773-2334)

Earlier this week, an advocate for clergy sex abuse victims (Paul Kendrick of Maine, 207 838 1319) and an another group (Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, 203-829-7210) announced they're making similar requests of the judge.

2) Last fall, for the first time, the New York Times exposed a former Fairfield University Prep principal, Fr. Eugene J. O’Brien, as a credibly accused child molester. His employer, the Jesuits, have not denied that in the 1970s, O'Brien molested a teenaged student. In 1997, that victim was paid a $25,000 settlement which the Jesuits insisted be kept secret. It included a ‘gag order’ forcing the victim to keep quiet about the crimes. That victim, however, has violating the gag order, disclosed his abuse and provided a copy of the settlement deal. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news5/2008_10_21_Vitello_JesuitSchool.htm

O’Brien was at Fairfield Prep from 1983 to 1985. In addition to being president for almost 20 years at Fordham Prep in the Bronx, O’Brien also worked at St. Peter’s prep school in Jersey City, NJ. But for essentially the last 11 years, Jesuit, archdiocesan and church and school officials let O’Brien live among Fordham’s college and high school students (in the Bronx) and present himself as a priest around the world without warning anyone about his crimes.

O’Brien apparently has not been sued and doesn’t face criminal charges. He is now retired and believed to be living at a Jesuit facility in mid-town Manhattan.

SNAP is calling on the Jesuits, two dioceses (Bridgeport and New York) and several schools (Fairfield University, Fairfield Prep, Fordham University and Fordham prep) to "use their considerable resources - including websites, newsletters, parish bulletins and newspapers - to seek out and offer help to victims of Perlitz and O'Brien."

Contact:
Jim Hackett 203-287-8235, 203-432-9201, 203-710-0968 cell (jim.hackett@yale.edu)
Gail Howard 203-846-2774, 203-857-7281 (GHoward@ncc.commnet.edu)
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314-566-9790 (SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314-862-7688 (SNAPdorris@gmail.com)


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


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