The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
(NOTE: A Filipino newspaper reports that an imprisoned, convicted pedophile priest, who worked at several New Mexico Catholic and California churches is trying to get President Obama to pardon him. See story below.)For immediate release:
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Ex NM & CA pedophile priest wants pardon from Obama
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, 314 862 7688 home)
For the safety of children, we strenuously object to any pardon for this predatory priest.
Fr. Superiaso admitted his crimes, both to a church official and in court.
It's a particularly disturbing request since only a tiny percentage of pedophile priests ever face criminal charges, largely because church officials are so successful at concealing their crimes until the archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly statute of limitations have expired.
If anyone related to clergy sex crimes deserves a pardon, it's the hundreds of deeply wounded victims who have run afoul of the law trying to bury or cope with overwhelming pain through drugs or alcohol.
Kids are safer with Fr. Superiaso behind bars. We hope he stays there.
Obama pardon sought by Filipino priest
MANILA, Philippines -- US President Barack Obama has been asked by a convicted Filipino priest to grant him clemency, the Public Attorney's Office said.
"Father Jose Superiaso requested me to be of assistance to him so that he may be given the chance by His Excellency to be awarded the benefit of Presidential Clemency and Parole under the US State Laws and Systems," said PAO Chief Persida Ruada-Acosta who relayed the priest's message in a letter to Obama.
Superiaso, a former priest at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Daly City, was found guilty of molesting a 12-year-old girl in 1995.
"His incarceration for more than five years in the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, California, to our humble opinion has already satisfied the rehabilitative and reformative intent of incarceration," she said.
Acosta said Superiaso insisted that he was innocent.
Acosta said she was hoping that Obama would look into Superiaso's plight "with magnanimity and compassion so that he could return to his native land, here in the Philippines, where he could revert to his spiritual duties and responsibilities."
Priest Convicted of Sex Abuse Won't Return to Santa Fe
A former Santa Fe priest serving a 10-year sentence in California for child molestation will never be allowed to return to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, church officials said.
Jose Superiaso was a priest at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi until June 2003, when he was arrested in Northern California on child-molestation charges. He has admitted to having a sexual relationship with a girl he baby-sat in 1994 and 1995 while he was a priest at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Daly City, Calif.
Superiaso pleaded guilty last June to six counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14, said Sharon Henry, the district attorney for San Mateo County who prosecuted the case. Superiaso was sentenced to 10 years in prison and is serving his time in the Salinas Valley State Prison in Salinas, Calif. He will be eligible for parole at the end of 2013.
Superiaso, a native of the Philippines, came to Santa Fe in July 1998 after serving in the Archdiocese of San Francisco (which includes St. Andrews Catholic Church). He served at the Church of San Geronimo in Taos Pueblo, then transferred to the cathedral. He continued to administer to Pueblo Indians in the archdiocese.
Superiaso's relationship with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe was terminated when he "admitted to the charges," said the Rev. Tim Martinez, chancellor for the archdiocese.
"He will no longer be allowed to work here again," Martinez said.
He referred questions about Superiaso's future with the Roman Catholic Church to the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
However, a spokesman for that archdiocese said it is up to officials in the Archdiocese of Manila -- where Superiaso was ordained -- to petition the Vatican to defrock him.
Superiaso was serving at the downtown church when he was lured back to California by police in June 2003. He was initially tried in September 2004 on 21 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14. Superiaso had admitted to police after his arrest that he had a relationship with the girl, but during the trial, his defense attorney claimed the girl was not under 14 when the relationship took place and, therefore, jurors could not find Superiaso guilty of the charges. A judge declared a mistrial after jurors deadlocked on 18 counts because they could not agree on the girl's age. Superiaso was acquitted on three other charges.
After the mistrial, prosecutors investigated the case further and presented evidence to the defense that the girl was in fact under 14 when the abuse took place, Henry said.
"With that new information, it pretty much left (Superiaso) in a position where he had nothing more to argue," Henry said in a phone interview from California.
She said prosecutors were satisfied with Superiaso's plea agreement, particularly because it spared the victim -- also Filipina -- from testifying at a second trial. Superiaso was in a position of trust and abused it, Henry added.
"The mother entrusted him with her daughter," the district attorney said. "There were a lot of times when the mother was working, and he would offer to help out. He was in a position where he was with (the girl) quite a bit."
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests