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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Catholic bishops urged to help law enforcement

Predator priest who worked in PA faces criminal prosecution

A court hearing in his case in Virginia is set for later this week

Another abusive Allentown area priest was just sued last week

Victims want local Catholic and school officials to “reach out”

They also prod colleges to contact alums about accused pedophile

"Help find others who were hurt," groups ask "and urge them to call police"

WHAT
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, concerned Catholics & clergy sex abuse victims will urge
-- a Pennsylvania college to reach out to anyone hurt by a recently-arrested predator priest,
-- two Pennsylvania bishops to do likewise (via their diocesan websites and parish bulletins), and
-- college students and staff to ask peers and colleagues if they saw, suspected or suffered sexual misdeeds by the priest, and, if so, to immediately contact police and prosecutors.

They’ll also beg anyone with information about another accused Allentown priest (who allegedly victimized a teenage girl) to call law enforcement.

WHEN
Monday, August 30, 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Allentown Catholic diocesan headquarters (chancery), 4029 W. Tilghman St., Allentown, PA

WHO
Two representatives of a Chicago-based international support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).

WHY:
Last week, Allentown Catholic officials were sued because Fr. Luis A. Bonilla Margarito admitted “an inappropriate relationship” with a teenager with whom he has reportedly fathered a child. Bonilla worked at Central Catholic High School and St. Joseph’s parish in Reading. SNAP believes others who saw or suspected Bonilla’s wrongdoing should speak up and call law enforcement.

And last month, Fr. Felix C. Owino was arrested in Fairfax VA and charged with “aggravated sexual battery” of a girl under 13. From 1997 to 2005, he worked in the Allentown diocese at St. Peter's in Reading, PA and in the Pittsburgh diocese at Duquesne University and St. Bede's parish. On Sept. 2, there’s a court hearing scheduled in Virginia in Owino’s case.

Owino also worked at Magdalen College in the Manchester New Hampshire diocese.

SNAP is prodding church and college officials in PA and NH ‘to come clean’ about any allegations of sexual abuse while Owino worked in their areas. SNAP also wants church and college officials to help law enforcement by aggressively seeking out others with information about Owino’s crimes.

The group is also urging any current and former students and employees at the colleges to ask their colleagues about Owino, They believe that anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered Owino’s misdeeds should come forward, call police, protect others and start healing.

Sometimes, when one victim of a predator discloses, others sit back and assume he’ll be convicted. But SNAP feels it's important for everyone with information about clergy sex crimes to contact law enforcement. Often, abusive clerics get top notch defense lawyers who successfully exploit legal technicalities and escape conviction or get lenient sentences, the groups maintain.

SNAP is doing a similar event today in the Manchester NH diocese where Owino also worked.

Owino is a native of Nairobi, Kenya. A photo of him is available at http://bishop-accountability.org/member/psearch.jsp

CONTACT - Judy Jones, 636-433-2511, snapjudy@gmail.com, Karen Polesir 267 992 9463, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com


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