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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Unusual new lawsuit says diocese is “criminally complicit”

It alleges recent, shocking move by a priest to silence other victims

Suit charges that in 2010, he publicly “chastised” those speaking up

It also names a pastor who reportedly yelled at his predatory assistant

Head priest had walked in on child molesting cleric & victim while dressing

SNAP urges others who “saw, suspected or suffered” clergy sex crimes to come forward

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss an unusual new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit. They will also blast San Antonio officials for
---letting a priest try to intimidate victims from the pulpit, and
---being deceptive about a predator priest’s assignment record

WHEN
Thursday, Nov. 18 at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside San Fernando Cathedral, 115 Main Plaza, San Antonio

WHO
3-4 clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) including a Missouri woman who is the organization’s national outreach director

WHY
According to an unusual new civil lawsuit, a boy was repeatedly assaulted by a priest, a second priest essentially walked in as the two were dressing, and a third priest earlier this year publicly tried to guilt-trip victims who have come forward and prevent others from doing so.

The suit charges that a 12 year old boy was repeatedly pulled out of class, given wine, and repeatedly raped and assaulted in a rectory two or three times a week for roughly six months by Fr. Louis White. The alleged crimes happened in 1976 at Sacred Heart parish (1009 Trail Street, Floresville, TX, 830-216-7706, http://www.archsa.org/ParishLocator/ParishInfo.aspx?ID=408)

Even more alarming, however, it claims that Sacred Heart’s then-pastor, Fr. Joseph Hybner, once walked in on the White and the boy dressing and “loudly scolded” White. (Hybner is currently at Sacred Heart Parish in Flatonia, Texas within the Victoria Diocese)

Further adding insult to injury, the suit says that earlier this year “the diocese sent a priest to Sacred Heart who chastised “anyone that would come forward about being abused and telling him them that they should do penance for themselves and the abuser priest.”

In 2009, the archdiocese disclosed that three priests (Fr. David Zumaya, Fr. Larry Hernandez and White) had molested a boy at San Fernando parish in San Antonio. Church officials listed the parishes where each priest had worked. But church officials did not reveal that White had also worked at Sacred Heart. (Later, they did disclose this fact.)

The suit claims church officials were “criminally complicit” because they “assisted and aided Father Louis in the commission of the sexual assaults (boys) by allowing him access to (kids) and failing to report Father Louis to law enforcement.” It also says that the “well established pattern” and “scheme” of the archdiocese was “recycle” abusive clerics and “to conceal the crimes against children” by priests. And it charges top church staff with “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” For these reasons, the lawsuit seeks punitive as well as actual damages.

The suit says that church staff “was aware or should have been aware of criminal acts of assault” by White.

According to the suit, the victim suffers or suffered “physical impairment,” “bodily injury” and “severe mental anguish.”

The victim, who is filing anonymously and will NOT be present at the news conference, is represented by Dallas attorneys Lori Watson (214-289-4882) and Tahira Merritt (214-537-3789), who have handled dozens/hundreds of child sex cases. The suit is being filed in Bexar County District Court. Defendants include White, Bishop Oscar Cantu and the diocese itself.

Next week, on the 23rd, the diocese gets a new archbishop - Gustavo Garcia-Siller, from Chicago.

CONTACT
Barbara Dorris, outreach director 314 503 0003 snapdorris@gmail.com
David Clohessy executive director 314 566 9790 snapclohessy@aol.com
Barbara Garcia Boehland, San Antonio SNAP leader 210 725 8329


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