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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims disclose secret Catholic sex settlement

Priory officials kept quiet when soccer coach hurt kids

Thanks to such silence, offender got job at public schools

There, he molested again & was arrested in 2004, suit says

As recently as 2006, he was a substitute teacher in Brentwood

SNAP just learned that at least one child got $20,000 settlement

Alleged pedophile is set to lead a local soccer clinic in two months

“Will archdiocese ever just ‘come clean?’” SNAP asks in frustration

It’s the 2nd case here in which parochial predator moved to public school & abused again

What
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose
-- a long secret settlement of a child molestation and cover up lawsuit against an ex-Priory coach and

They will also urge Catholic officials to
--warn families about the child molesting coach predators, and
--come clean about any other sex offender Catholic employee – ordained or lay person – who quietly left parochial schools saw, suspected or suffered their crimes to call police, get help, protect others and start healing.

When
TODAY, Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 2:30 p.m.

Who
Two-three adults who were molested as kids by clergy and who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Where
On the sidewalk in front of the archdiocesan chancery, 4445 Lindell (near Taylor) in the Central West End

Documentation
SNAP will provide dozens of pages of legal documents and records about the alleged abuse.

Why
SNAP has just learned that two child sex abuse lawsuits were quietly filed against a former Priority soccer coach, the school itself, and the archdiocese. One settled secretly for $20,000 but the outcome of the 2nd case is not known.

The suits are believed to be the only clergy sex cases involving Priory.

The alleged predator is Austin M. Gomez. In February, Gomez is scheduled to head a soccer referee clinic for the Fenton-based St. Louis Youth Soccer Association SLYSAREFS@SLYSA.org (Randy Masterson 636 305 9849) that is publicized on the Lou Fusz Soccer Club website. http://loufuszsoccer.teammania.net/announcement-info.do?groupId=4145&announcementId=12651&view=3&grpId=4145

Until at least 2006, he was a substitute teacher in the Brentwood School District. In 1990, he was questioned for abuse allegations by the Granite City police and by the University City police in 1984.

The alleged crimes happened in the 1970s and 1980s. According to one of the suits, one of the victims (identified as John Doe III) told school, church and law enforcement officials in 1984 that he was molested two years earlier. He says school and church staff assured him that if he “would not press charges and sue Priory, they would make sure that (Gomez) would not teach anywhere in Missouri.” But around 2004, he learned that Gomez was arrested for abusing a student at a St. Louis public school, and that prompted him to file his lawsuit.

Recently, a concerned Catholic notified SNAP about the cases. SNAP believes local Catholic church and school officials violated their moral and civic duty by keeping the allegations and settlement secret.

In 2008, Gomez was given a Life Member award by the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NISOA) http://nymisoa.com/pdf/nisoa_news_1008.pdf (Cliff McCrath, 206 2812904, cliff@nwsoccer.org, is the group’s executive director and Gary W. Huber of Weldon Spring MO, 636 939 9687 is on its board.) Reportedly, Gomez also coached at Vianney and in recent years, according to Post Dispatch archives, has been a National Professional Soccer League referee (although SNAP has not been able to confirm this).

The victims were represented by Andrew Joseph Tuteur (314 678 3400), Eric Ruttencutter (314 726 1817), Robert Pedroli (726 1817) and Jeffrey Lowe (314 721 6677). Priory was represented by David W. Wells (314 552 6000) and Catherine Schroeder (314 552 6242). Gomez was represented by attorney Art Margulis (314 721 6677).

One of the two cases was filed on August 26, 2005 by a man identified only as John Doe III (Case #052-10815) . The other was filed on 5/27/04 in St. Louis County. (Case #4CC-002246 (N) (CV) John Doe v. Gomez, Austin M.; Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Roman Catholic etc.; Abbey of St. Mary & St. Louis; St. Louis Priory School.)

As best SNAP can tell, there are no pending civil or criminal charges against Gomez. He is now in his 60s.

If the allegations in one of the suits are true, that Gomez went on to molest in a public school, this is at least the second time that a local Catholic employee later got a job at a public school and offended again. This happened with Fr. James Beine (a.k.a. Marr James) in 2002 at Patrick Henry Elementary School in St Louis city.

http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Beine_James_A.htm

Contact – David Clohessy 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com


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