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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Child Molester Exposed For First Time

Predator works in unsuspecting community

Victim and clergy abuse group wants to safeguard innocent children

Advocates will urge other victims to speak up

Predator admits wrongdoing in written apology

WHAT
Clergy sex-abuse victims will attempt to hand deliver a letter to the rector urging him to
-- Immediately suspend predator who works as choir director
-- urge rector/pastor to reach out to his parishioners and the community begging them to come forward if they have been harmed by Schafer
-- prod others who were hurt or who witnessed crimes by any predator to come forward
-- provide copies of the letter to pastor and letter of apology written by predator to victim

WHEN:
Thursday, March 17 at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE
Outside St James Cathedral, at 215 North Orange Avenue in Orlando (between Robinson and Jefferson)

WHO
Two – three clergy molestation victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) including the victim who was abused as a child in Milwaukee by Robert Schafer.

WHY
SNAP has recently learned that a former choir director from Milwaukee, WI who is accused of sexually abusing an eleven year old boy is now working at St James Cathedral in Orlando. Music Director Bob Schafer recently wrote a letter of apology to the victim who still lives in Milwaukee where the abuse occurred over 20 years ago.

Schafer worked as the choir director at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Milwaukee when he asked the victim, William G. Kirchen, then 11 yrs old (who will be present at the media event) to babysit. Schafer molested him that evening, and continued to do so for the next two years until William was 13 years old The abuse occurred at least 25 times in Schafer’s home, his car and at the church.

Suffering from lymphoma, Schafer recently wrote a letter of apology to Kirchen. (Copies will be passed out at this event.) In it he says he has spent “25 years regretting my actions”, stating “I had no idea what impact my actions could cause.”

SNAP members, who applaud Kirchen for speaking up to protect other children, will attempt to hand deliver a letter to the pastor/rector of the Cathedral parish telling the information regarding Schafer’s past and will ask that he remove the alleged predator from his position in the parish and that he encourage anyone who may have witnessed, suspected or experienced abuse to report it to police.

SNAP fears that Schafer may have molested others here and wants church officials to use websites and media announcements to find and help any such victims.

CONTACT: Joe McMorrow, Orlando SNAP Leader, 240-353-7832, Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314 862 7688, Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, 312 399 4747.


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