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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Thursday, October 8, 2009

Former principal is facing sex charges; SNAP responds

Statement by Barbara Dorris, national Outreach Director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests 314 862 7688

Catholic Church and school officials have the priorities backwards. Now is no time for a “healing service.” Now is the time to make sure potentially dangerous predator gets prosecuted.

It’s easy to be complacent, and assume that because Brant has been arrested she’ll eventually be convicted and jailed. That, however, is a reckless assumption. The prudent and moral thing to do now is to concentrate on prodding victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward and call police.

In these cases, the Catholic hierarchy has two options. It can do what it’s nearly always done, and sit passively back, making little or no effort to encourage its employees and members to call law enforcement with any information about the alleged crimes. Or it can use its considerable resources to really urge people with knowledge of the accusations to do their civic and moral duty and speak up. The latter course of action is, of course, what Jesus would do. But sadly, it rarely happens. It’s as if church authorities haven’t heard or don’t agree with the Biblical injunction to reach out to the lost and wounded sheep.

This “healing service” seems like just one more effort by Catholic officials to try and rush through a scandal and “put it behind us,” rather than really protect kids by getting a child molester off the streets.

(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)


http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/oct/07/daviess-county-ky-principal-faces-sex-charges/?partner=popular

Former principal is facing sex charges

By John Martin - October 7, 2009 at 4:03 p.m. , updated October 7, 2009

OWENSBORO, Ky. — A Catholic school principal who had long been known as a committed, popular and effective educator is now in jail, accused of having sex with one teenager and supplying alcohol to four others.

Allison Brant, 32, resigned last week as principal of Saint Mary of the Woods School in Whitesville, Ky., a community of just over 600 people east of Owensboro in Daviess County.

Kentucky State Police arrested Brant at her home Wednesday afternoon on one count of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree sodomy.

The charges stem from an alleged sexual relationship the principal had with a 15-year-old male over an eight-week period in late 2008 and early 2009, said Corey King, a spokesman with the state police Henderson post.

As state police were investigating the sex accusations last week, deputies with the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department were looking into another case involving claims that Brant gave alcohol to boys aged 18, 18, 17 and 16.

That alleged incident occurred Sept. 4, and it led sheriff’s deputies to seek four misdemeanor charges of third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.

The two police investigations “are totally separate and didn’t even involve the same individuals,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Jones of the sheriff’s department.

School officials with the Diocese of Owensboro first learned last week of allegations of potentially criminal misconduct involving Brant, said the Rev. Michael Clark, administrator of the diocese.

Brant joined Saint Mary of the Woods in 2000 as a teacher. She became the school’s principal in 2006.

During her career, she earned a reputation as being “bright, articulate, vivacious and involved” and was well-liked by both teachers and parents, Clark said.

Officials with the diocese were “startled” after learning of the allegations, but they contacted the office of Daviess County Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Kuegel within 24 hours, Clark said.

Brant was arrested at her home Wednesday afternoon by Kentucky State Police, and is in the Daviess County Detention Center awaiting an initial court appearance, King said.

Saint Mary of the Woods is a school for preschool through eighth grade. Its students later attend Trinity High School in Whitesville, which is nearby.

Authorities are not confirming where the teenagers involved in the allegations against Brant attend school.

“My concern is for all parties involved, for the well-being of children at the grade school and the high school and for the St. Mary’s community in Whitesville,” Clark said. “We’re concerned about the well being of the pastor and everyone involved, including Ms. Brant.”

The school will soon conduct what Clark described as “a healing service.” He said the service will be a vehicle for understand the situation and speak to counselors if they wish.

Brant resigned last Thursday. Bill Hagan, the principal of Trinity High School, is serving on an interim basis as principal of Saint Mary of the Woods.

PREVIOUS: A Catholic school principal who had long been known as a committed, popular and effective educator is now in jail, accused of having sex with one teen-ager and supplying alcohol to four others.

Allison Brant, 32, resigned last week as principal of Saint Mary of the Woods School in Whitesville, Ky., a community of just over 600 people east of Owensboro.

Kentucky State Police arrested Brant at her home Wednesday afternoon on one count of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree sodomy.

The charges stem from an alleged sexual relationship the principal had with a 15-year-old male over an eight-week period in late 2008 and early 2009, said Corey King, a spokesman with the state police Henderson post.

As state police were investigating the sex accusations last week, deputies with the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department were looking into another case involving claims that Brant gave alcohol to boys aged 18, 18, 17 and 16.

That alleged incident occurred Sept. 4, and it led sheriff’s deputies to seek four misdemeanor charges of third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.

The two police investigations “are totally separate and didn’t even involve the same individuals,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Jones of the sheriff’s department.

School officials with the Diocese of Owensboro first learned last week of allegations of potentially criminal misconduct involving Brant, said the Rev. Michael Clark, administrator of the diocese.

Brant joined Saint Mary of the Woods in 2000 as a teacher. She became the school’s principal in 2006.

During her career, she earned a reputation as being “bright, articulate, vivacious and involved” and was well-liked by both teachers and parents, Clark said.

Officials with the diocese were “startled” after learning of the allegations, but they contacted the office of Daviess County Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Kuegel within 24 hours, Clark said.

Brant was arrested at her home Wednesday afternoon by Kentucky State Police. She is in the Daviess County Detention Center awaiting an initial court appearance, King said.

Saint Mary of the Woods is a school for preschool through eighth grade. Its students later attend Trinity High School in Whitesville, which is nearby.

Authorities are not confirming where the teen-agers involved in the allegations against Brant attend school.

“My concern is for all parties involved, for the well-being of children at the grade school and the high school and for the St. Mary’s community in Whitesville,” Clark said. “We’re concerned about the well being of the pastor and everyone involved, including Ms. Brant.”

The school will soon conduct what Clark described as “a healing service.” He said the service will be a vehicle for understand the situation and speak to counselors if they wish.

Brant resigned her position as principal on Thursday. Bill Hagan, the principal of Trinity High School, is serving on an interim basis as principal of Saint Mary of the Woods.


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