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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Church officials try to defrock accused cleric

Quiet hearings held this week in Steubenville

Suspended predator is fighting to remain a priest

Victim files new legal appeal to get his records released

She wants Ohio Supreme Court to open up sealed files about pedophile

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will:
-disclose that church officials are trying to permanently defrock an alleged predator priest,
-announce the filing of an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court to release investigatory records about his alleged crimes, and
-urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered the priests misdeeds to call law enforcement.

When:
Wednesday, Jan 27, 1-p.m.

Where:
Outside the Guernsey County Courthouse, 801 Wheeling Avenue in Cambridge, OH

Who:
Two-three clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a self help group called SNAP, (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) including a woman from Israel, who was abused by the priest

Why:
In November 2007, Fr. Gary A. Zalenski was suspended from active ministry because of credible sex allegations. At the time, he was pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Neffs, Ohio.

Monday in Steubenville, church officials began quietly hearing testimony about Fr. Zalenski as part of a formal process to defrock him. One person who testified was Beth Rocker who says she was sexually assaulted by the priest as a 9-11 years old girl between 1989-1991 at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Lore City, Ohio. SNAP expects a number of others to testify too.

The process, called laicization, is largely secret and can be very lengthy, But the fact that church officials are working to permanently remove Zalenski from the priesthood is a clear sign, SNAP says, that Steubenville bishop Daniel Conlon believes Zalenski is guilty.

Other officials involved in this hearing are:

Fr. William Cross wcross@diosteub.org (740) 264-0868 (740) 282-3631, Msgr. John G. Johnson, frjohn@stbrendans.net

(614) 876-1272, Msgr. Kevin Michael Quirk, kquirk@dwc.org (304) 230-1568, (304) 230-1577

In 1991, Rocker reported Zalenski's crimes to the Guernsey County law enforcement. In October 2008, the prosecutor announced there was insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges against Zalenski. A year ago, Rocker sued to get the police investigation records released but last month, she lost. Now, she's appealing that ruling to Ohio's highest court.

Rocker is represented by Cincinnati attorney Konrad Kircher (513-229-7996).

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2009/01_02/2008_12_31_Stillion_WomanSays.htm
http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2009/11_12/2009_12_04_Stillion_BethRocker.htm
http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2009/01_02/2008_12_31_Stillion_WomanSays.htm

Contact:
Judy Block Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511, 314-974-5003 cell.
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director, 314-566-9790


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