The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Thursday, July 9, 2009
Prosecutor unseals complaint against priest
He's accused of molesting a Minnesota girl in 2004
For more information: David Clohessy 314 566 9790
(Note: Today a Roseau County judge has unsealed, at the request of prosecutors, a criminal complaint against Fr. Joseph P. Jeyapaul who is being sued for sexually abusing a Crookston area teenager in 2004)
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell)
We in SNAP are grateful to this courageous woman who is strong and wise enough to report these horrific crimes to the right place: police and prosecutors. We're also grateful to these criminal authorities who obviously take child molestation seriously and are pursuing this predator who has fled the US and who might well be assaulting kids even now.
We hope their probe will also include possible crimes by local Catholic officials who may well have shunned victims, deceived parishioners, and misled citizens about Jeyapaul. Our experience over the past 20 years across the country leads us to strongly suspect that this child molesting clergyman likely had help from some of his colleagues leaving this country and evading responsibility for the terrible harm he's inflicted.
It is the solemn civic and Christian duty of every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Jeyapaul's misdeeds to pick up the phone, call the prosecutor, and share what they know, so that justice can be done and so that crimes can be prevented. Any information or tips - even if they seem old or partial or inconsequential - can sometimes help criminal authorities figure out the truth. Catholics must especially overcome their fears and step forward to help. They often assume that disclosing information about predator priests may hurt their church, when in fact, the opposite is true: 'coming clean' helps make the church a safer, better place for everyone. And it's the right thing to do.
We desperately hope that one or two Minnesotans will be inspired by this young victim's courage, speak up, and help hold this wrong-doer accountable for the harm he's done to a child.
(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 21 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 SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests