The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Sex victim speaks publicly for first time
He blasts ‘bizarre’ new archdiocesan defense
SNAP calls it’s “the worst legal move ever” by church here
Judge rules that church admits abuse could have been stopped
But archbishop exploits technicality: crimes weren’t on church property
Group begs Carlson to “change course” & stop the “hair-splitting” tactics
He and other victims will also
1. that an alleged child sex abuse victim, Alvino, “has evidence” that the archdiocese knew a priest “had a history of sexual abuse,
Still, in an unprecedented move, the Archdiocese is arguing that it “can only be held liable if the abuse occurred on (church property).”
In March, the judge agreed with the archdiocese and tossed out the case. In April, Alvino filed an appeal which is still pending.
SNAP calls the church’s defense “a bizarre, rare and inexcusable technicality” – the fact that the crimes allegedly took place off church property (at a “clubhouse” on the Big River). It’s believed to be the first time in Missouri history that church officials have successfully used the argument, which SNAP finds morally deplorable. The organization calls the church’s move “possibly the most mean-spirited legal maneuver in archdiocesan history.”
Church officials usually win in court using other technical defenses, notably the statute of limitations. So even though the archdiocese has used the “not on church property” tactic before, until now, it’s never been the sole reason that a clergy sex abuse case was tossed out by a Missouri court.
Cooper abused Alvino, who was then around 12 years old, at St. Mary Magdalen parish in south St. Louis from 1970 to 1971. Alvino filed his suit in 2005.
Cooper was ordained in 1955, retired in 1993, died in 2003, and worked in Webster Groves, Hazelwood, University City, Jennings and St. Louis city (and perhaps other locations). In 2005, when the suit against him was first filed, archdiocesan staff refused to provide a list of where Cooper worked. SNAP is urging Carlson to do so now.
The archdiocese’s lawyers are Bernie Huger, Luci Huger and Ed Goldenhersh, who several weeks ago sponsored a reception in downtown Clayton for Archbishop Robert Carlson.
Alvino, identified only as John Doe, discussed his case in the most recent issue of the Riverfront Times:
Here’s the original story about the filing of Alvino’s lawsuit:
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests