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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 24

For more info: David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Child sex victim settles case vs. St. Joe church

In hardball move, church officials hadblamed parents of abused girl

A state-wide non-profit that helps elderly people was also involved

SNAP urges others who “saw, suspected or suffered crimes in churches” to come forward

A young Missouri woman has settled her child sex abuse lawsuit against a St. Joseph church and a statewide non-profit. The amount of the settlement is confidential but the plaintiff's attorney is "satisfied" with the resolution. As part of the settlement, the lawsuits brought by the Church against the parents will be dismissed as well.

Members of a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests had supported the woman and pressured the defendants to stop what SNAP called “mean-spirited legal defense moves.”

The girl was molested from 1996-1999 (starting when she was 13) by Michael J. Landy, who was both youth minister at the New Life Bible Church and the regional director of a Columbia-based agency called OATS, the Older Adult Transportation Service. Landy pled guilty to the abuse and is on probation.

“We are very proud of this brave young woman who’s courage exposed and removed and convicted a child predator,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “We hope and believe this hard-won and just settlement will be a key step forward in her healing. And we know it will protect others by further warning the public about Landy.”

SNAP is urging anyone who saw, suspected or suffered Landy’s crimes to come forward, get help and call police, so that he might be prosecuted again, convicted and locked up “so kids will be safer.”

“We strongly suspect there are others who’ve been hurt by him or who have information about him,” she said. “Landy belongs behind bars and if these individuals speak up, they can help put him there.”

Landy admitted “committing statutory sodomy in the second degree and was given seven years in prison. But Buchanan County Judge Dan Kellogg suspended his sentence in lieu of five years of probation and 120 days of shock detention.

Several months ago, SNAP members handed out fliers door-to-door near the church. The leaflets
--blasted church members and leaders for claiming, in court documents, that a girl’s parents are partially to blame for her being sexually violated by a youth minister,
--urged St. Joseph citizens and churches to call the church and urge it to drop its “hardball” legal defense, and
--prodded anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes the youth minister's crimes to come forward, get help and call police

During the litigation, church members and OATS sued the victim’s parents, and asked a judge for permission to try and figure out the “comparative liability” of her mother and father.

SNAP called the legal maneuver “downright cruel” and says that it’s immoral for a church “to claim that a mom and dad who took their faith seriously and are at fault because a church staffer repeatedly raped their daughter.” The group believes the legal maneuver sends a “terribly chilling message” to “others who are being or have been victimized and are wondering whether they should speak up.”

The victim’s attorney is Rebecca Randles, Randles, Mata & Brown, Kansas City (816 931 9901, 816 510 2704 cell, rebecca@rmblawyers.com). The church’s lawyer is Patrick E. McGrath of Kansas City. 913.752.5559, patmcgrath@wallacesaunders.com)

OATS provides transportation for the elderly and is headquartered in Columbia (573-443-4516). New Life Bible Church can be reached at 816 364 5510, http://newlife-biblechurch.org/Home.html. Mike and Millie Mosiman are associated with the church. (816-238-4999, 816-261-6453 cell, Mike@midlandministries.org).

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/sep/16/blame-is-directed-at-victims-parents/

(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 SNAPnetwork.org)

CONTACT : David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell)


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