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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims seek bishop’s help over predator priest

After abusing in St. Louis, he moved to Little Rock

In 2003, Catholic cleric was arrested in “sex sting” here

Now defrocked, he’s been convicted of sex offenses before

Group wants Catholic officials to “reach out to others in pain”

And they urge bishop to post predators’ names on church websites

WHAT
Holding childhood photos and signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will urge Arkansas’ Catholic bishop to
--warn his flock about a notorious Missouri predator priest who recently lived in Little Rock,
--aggressively seek out anyone who may have information about his crimes, and
--post on the diocesan website the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics.

They will also prod anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

WHEN
Thursday, April 14 at 1:00 pm.

WHERE
Outside the Little Rock Catholic Diocese headquarters (“chancery office”), 2500 N. Tyler (near Hawthorne Road) in Little Rock, AR

WHO
Two clergy 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 long time outreach director

DOCUMENTATION
The group will give a photo of the ex-priest, copies of an Internet records showing his Arkansas addresses, and 2003 arrest record from a sex-related offense he committed in Little Rock.

WHY
SNAP has learned that a now-defrocked and convicted St. Louis predator priest, Joseph D. Ross, has in recent years lived (and may still be living) in Little Rock. In 2009, Ross was arrested and jailed in Arkansas for allegedly molesting a Missouri a girl from 1998 to 2000. He waived extradition and was brought back to St. Louis but was freed last August when St. Louis’ top prosecutor, Jennifer Joyce, dropped those charges. Joyce said she has "full confidence in the victim's allegations but, due to evolving circumstances, no longer feel we have sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial."

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/article_e0ae9b05-1bfe-5855-a5dd-19ab86095a69.html

SNAP is worried that Ross may have molested kids in Little Rock. And SNAP worries that he may molest again. The group wants anyone who has knowledge of or suspicions about his crimes to contact law enforcement. And SNAP is urging Little Rock’s bishop to use parish websites and bulletins and other methods to warn the public about Ross and urge any victims to step forward. Ross has been accused of sex crimes twice before.

According to a police report, in 2003, he was arrested in a Little Rock sex sting.

And according to news accounts, in 1988, Ross pleaded guilty in St. Louis to sexually assaulting an 11 year old boy. He was sentenced to two years probation and treatment. During the investigation, Ross admitted that he had earlier been accused of molesting a different child in 1970s and had been twice been arrested for other sex crimes - propositioning an undercover police officer for sex and for public indecency. In the spring of 2002, when his past crimes attracted public attention in media accounts, St. Louis church officials put Ross on leave. In August 2002, Vatican officials formally defrocked him.

In November 2002, a civil suit was filed alleging that Ross sexually abused a 14 year old Missouri boy in 1977. (It’s not clear whether this is the same boy involved in the 1988 criminal case.)

Ross worked at five or more St. Louis parishes, most recently (in 2002) at St. Cronan’s parish.

Ross’ victim in the recently-dropped criminal case is still a teenager. For the sake of privacy, SNAP is not disclosing his/her age, whereabouts, nor where Ross abused him/her. The case can, however, be re-filed later.

St. Louis lawyer Scott Rosenblum (314 862 4332) represented Ross. A photo of Ross is available at BishopAccountability.org.

He is believed to have family in Little Rock. The two addresses where he lived in the area are: 501 Napa Valley apartment 718 and 11160 Bainbridge Drive from 2003 to 2008.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/article_e0ae9b05-1bfe-5855-a5dd-19ab86095a69.html

CONTACT Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)


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