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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victim files "first ever" lawsuit

Former St. Louis University president is accused

Before today, he's never been "outed" as a predator

Jesuits promised woman he’d be kept out of ministry

But new suit charges they’re violating their agreement

He’s accused of sexually exploiting 20 year old and cyber-stalking her later

Cleric worked in parish & 2 colleges while allegedly doing “writing & research”

Some victims win these kinds of "prevention" concessions but few are enforced

What
Holding signs and child hood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose a “first of its kind” new lawsuit in Missouri (and perhaps the US), which accuses St. Louis-based Jesuit regional officials of violating an agreement to keep a credibly accused abusive priest (who once headed St. Louis University) on restricted duty, by putting him back into parish ministry in another country and letting him work at colleges.

They will also urge the Jesuits to
--immediately move the accused predator to a remote, independent, secure and professionally run treatment center, so that others will be safer, and
--urge local Jesuit officials to “come clean” about all proven, admitted and credibly accused predatory priests who have been or are at St. Louis University.

The victims will also prod others who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call police, get help, expose predators, protect others and start healing.

When
Thursday, April 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Where
Outside St. Louis University (corner of Grand and Lindell) in St. Louis

WHO
A few clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). The victim filing the suit will NOT be present.

WHY
A New York woman who says she was sexually violated by a Jesuit priest who once headed St. Louis University is filing an unusual new civil lawsuit charging that the Jesuits are violating a 2003 agreement with her to keep the cleric out of public priestly ministry (including teaching, campus ministry, counseling or giving directed retreats that would allow him to cultivate relationships with women, and that he not seek or maintain faculties in the diocese where he is lives). She says that the agreement provides that the Jesuits are to give her and a church panel notice if any successor considers changing these restrictions.

Despite these restrictions, Fr. Daniel C. O’Connell has subsequently taught seminars at two Jesuit universities – Fordham in the Bronx and Georgetown in Washington DC.- and was on the pastoral staff of a Berlin parish where he presided over mass since the early 1980s, after his supervisors had deemed his accuser “credible.

The alleged sexual abuse happened when the devout young woman was 20 years old and studying in Rome during her junior year in college. She has repeatedly told and written Jesuit officials, including the national/international “superior general,” about the cyber-stalking and more recently when she learned of his continuing position at the Berlin parish.

The suit, which seeks punitive and compensatory damages, is being filed in St. Louis City Circuit Court. The alleged victim is represented by Kansas City attorney Rebecca Randles 816 931 9901; 816 510 2704 cell.

O’Connell was the SLU president from 1974-78. He also headed the Psychology Dept. at Georgetown. He taught at Fordham in 2006 and 2008. O’Connell also taught at Loyola University Chicago.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2009/05_06/2009_05_13_King_SNAPSays.htm
http://www.berlingesturecenter.de/forschung/kolloquium/danieloconnell03nov06.html
http://bulletin.georgetown.edu/emeriti.html
http://linguistics.fiu.edu/colloquia_spring2007.htm

Contact
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell


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