Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 9, 2009

National self help group backs call for new pedophile priest trial

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director 314-862-7688

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

We are saddened but not surprised to learn that another person was abused as a child by Msgr. Herdegen. We commend Patrick for having the courage and strength to step forward and speak up.

We hope the judge will give the Santillan brothers a chance to have this new evidence heard by a jury.

We also hope this news helps others who saw, suspected or suffered Herdegen's crimes - or crimes by other Fresno area clergy - to come forward and get help.

When victims and witnesses stay silent, nothing changes. But when they find the courage and strength to come forward, as Patrick has bravely done, at least there's a chance for healing, justice, and prevention.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 20 years and have more than 9,000 members across the country. 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

David Clohessy, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790, Barbara Blaine, SNAP President and Fouinder 312 399 4747

Brothers Want New Trial against Catholic Church

Two brothers from the South Valley, who claim they were sexually assaulted by their Catholic priest, want a new trial.

George and Howard Santillan claim the Fresno Diocese covered up abuse by their Wasco Priest, Monsignor Anthony Herdegen.

Back in April, a jury agreed that the abuse happened but didn't believe that church leaders knew about. Now attorneys for the brothers say they have new evidence.

Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the Santillan brothers said, “Patrick Wright, another victim of Monsignor Herdegen called me on the phone and told me he had not only been abused by Monsignor Herdegen in 1967, but that he had reported to the principal at St. John's Wasco.”

No decision has been made on the request for a new trial but it may come by the end of the week.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests