Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims ask for hospital event boycott

They urge people to “give more generously to kids than ever”

But “don’t support OSF Healthcare gala” on Saturday, group says

Woman was allegedly molested there as a child for 3 months by a priest

But administrators refuse to help, meet with or listen to her, group says

Holding signs and photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will listen as a Pekin woman tells about being repeatedly molested as a youngster at then-St. Francis hospital by a chaplain. They will also blast current top hospital officials for
--refusing to help or even meet with the alleged victim, and
--ignoring pleas from two Catholic institutions to help her.

And they will urge Peoria citizens to
--boycott the hospital’s gala event on Saturday, but to help needy kids in other ways “more generously than ever” &
--talk with friends and family about whether they were abused by hospital or church employees.

They'll then hand-deliver a letter to hospital administrators urging them to reconsider their "callous" actions and meet with the alleged victim this week.

TODAY, Monday, Jan. 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Outside St. Francis Medical Center 530 NE Glen Oak Avenue in Peoria IL

Four - six members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including a Pekin woman who reports having been repeatedly molested at the hospital

Leona Deemie was reportedly molested again and again by Fr. J. George Cody, a St. Francis chaplain, during a three month stay here when she was a child. Cody belonged to an order called the Institute of Charity or Rosminians.

Officials with both the Peoria Diocese and the Rosminians have told Deemie and her supporters that they believe allegations to be credible. They have offered to arrange and accompany her to any meeting with OSF Healthcare. The hospital staff, however, is refusing to even meet with her (despite two earlier promises to do so).

In 2009, Deemie says the hospital and Peoria Catholic Diocese offered and retracted a $17,500 settlement which was presented to her with the requirement of a “gag order.” However, immediately after an Illinois Supreme Court ruling made it harder for child sex abuse victims to sue, both the Diocese and OSF rescinded their offers.

For more than a year, Deemie and her supporters have begged hospital administrators to meet with and help her.One of Deemie’s supporters wrote Pope Benedict about the situation. In August, he got a reply from the Pope’s US representative saying “you should not write to Pope Benedict XVI about these matters."

Earlier this year, the Rosminians gave Deemie $20,000.Their U.S. head is Father William Miller (2327 West Heading Avenue, Peoria, 309 676 6341) and the international head is Fr. David Myers in Ireland (,,

Cody is originally from Cardiff, Wales UK. Cody died in 1964. Deemie was assaulted in 1956 when she was 12. She’s now 66 years old. At one time, she was represented by attorney Fred Nessler.

SNAP will urge Peoria citizens to boycott the hospital foundation’s gala event this Saturday at the Civic Center, but be more generous than ever of other charities that help children, until the OSF listens to and helps Deemie and shows it is taking effective measures to prevent future abuse.

SNAP will also beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered sex crimes or cover ups by church or hospital staff to call police, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect others and start healing (especially women who may have been patients in St. Francis Hospital Children's Polio Ward in the 1950s, when Cody worked there.

CONTACT David Clohessy 314-566-9790 or, Mitch Landgraf at 815-910-6526 or,

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests