The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Dismissal of
Lawsuit against Rochester, NY Diocese


Sex Abuse Victims Respond to NY Supreme Court Ruling

September 21, 2004

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis,
National Director of SNAP,
314 566 9790

"Our hearts ache for Mark, Jeff, and other men who were repeatedly assaulted by Father O'Neill when they were children. Compounding the pain they already feel, they've now been hurt again by a rigid, archaic, arbitrary statute of limitations which denies them even a shred of justice.

We hope New York lawmakers take note of this unjust ruling and are motivated to eliminate or extend the dangerous time limits which hurt victims and protect child molesters."

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation's largest and oldest support group for men and women who have been victimized by clergy. It is based in Chicago, was formed in 1989, and has more than 5,000 members.

David Clohessy
National Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
St. Louis MO
314 566 9790, cell 314 645 5915


High court will not hear Rochester, NY church abuse case

September 21, 2004

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The state's highest court Tuesday declined to hear an appeal of the dismissal of a suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed by 10 men who contended they were abused by a priest between 1975 and 1986.

The Court of Appeals made no comment in denying to hear the case. Two lower courts had dismissed both the diocese and the priest, Robert O'Neill, as defendants, saying the legal clock for court action in the case had expired years ago.

In New York, juvenile victims of sexual abuse must file suit before they turn 21. Most of the men are now in their 40s.

In 2002, Rochester Bishop Matthew Clark barred O'Neill from holding any form of church ministry, wearing clerical clothing or living on diocese property. The sexual abuse allegations were levied against O'Neill after he resigned in June 2001 as a pastor. He was never charged criminally in connection with the case.

Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests