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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims & advocates try to buy Catholic ads

They’re looking for others hurt by just-convicted priest

He worked at NH college & faces sentencing next month

Church & school officials “won’t do outreach,” two groups say

So non-profits are willing to spend money & try to do it themselves

Organizations also want help from new US senator who was state AG

Federal RICO laws should be expanded, they say, to include child sex cover ups

WHAT
Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, concerned Catholics & clergy sex abuse victims will
-- blast New Hampshire college and Catholic officials for doing little or nothing to find and help victims of a recently convicted predator priest, and
-- try to buy small ads in college and church publications and websites about the criminal, and
-- urge 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 will walk into the diocesan headquarters and hand-deliver a letter and blank check to church officials for the ads.

And they will call on New Hampshire’s newly-elected US senator to expand federal RICO statutes to include injury to children and the concealing or abetting of child abuse.

WHEN
Thursday, Nov. 11, 12:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Catholic diocesan headquarters (chancery), 153 Ash Street, in downtown Manchester NH

WHO
Members of three groups: NH Voice of the Faithful, Boston-based BishopAccountability.org and the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

WHY:
In late August, Fr. Felix C. Owino pled guilty to sexual assault against an 11-year-old Virginia girl, is now behind bars and is awaiting sentencing on Dec. 17.

From 2005 to 2007, Owino worked at Magdalen College in Warner, New Hampshire as chaplain for the students, faculty, staff, families, and high school summer youth programs. Owino was also a professor and academic adviser to individual students and provided private spiritual direction to students.

SNAP and VOTF have prodded Manchester Bishop John McCormack and Magdalen College President Jeffrey Karls to ‘come clean’ about any allegations of sexual abuse while Owino worked in New Hampshire. They have also asked church and college officials to help law enforcement by aggressively seeking out others with information about Owino’s crimes.

Since their requests have been ignored, the groups are willing to spend their own funds to try and find others with information about Owino’s crimes. Such information could help a judge determine how to sentence Owino.

The groups are also urging any current and former students and employees at the college 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 the two groups feel it's important for everyone with information about clergy sex crimes to contact law enforcement. Often, child molesting clerics get top notch defense lawyers who successfully exploit legal technicalities and escape conviction or get lenient sentences, the groups maintain.

Owino is currently being held without bond in the Fairfax Adult Detention Center. He was arrested in July and charged with “aggravated sexual battery” of youngster. Owino also worked in two Pennsylvania dioceses (Pittsburgh and Allentown) and at Duquesne University between 1997 and 2005. Most recently, he worked at Wheeling Jesuit College in Wheeling while also pasturing a parish in Weirton, WV.

Owino is a native of Nairobi, Kenya. His photo and work history is available at http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Owino_Felix_aj.htm

Kelly Ayotte is New Hampshire’s former attorney general and the state’s current U.S. Senator-elect. As AG, she investigated abuse in the Manchester diocese and arranged to oversee their handling of abuse cases for five years. The two groups want Ayotte to reform federal RICO statutes to include injury to children and the concealing or abetting of child abuse.

http://www.weirtondailytimes.com/page/content.detail/id/549205/Priest-pleads-guilty-to-sexual-battery.html?nav=5006

CONTACT
Anne Barrett Doyle 781 439 5208, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com


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