Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Catholic Diocese settles lawsuit; SNAP responds

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314 503 0003

We applaud Allan Ranta for having the courage to break his silence and expose this dangerous predator.

We hope this settlement will prod and inspire others who have been hurt by Wayland Brown and other clergy to call police, protect others and start healing.

When victims, whistleblowers and witnesses speak up, predators are exposed and children are protected. But when victims, whistleblowers and witnesses stay silent, predators walk free and kids are assaulted.

While Brown is currently serving time in Maryland we hope others will come forward and help to keep this dangerous predator behind bars.

(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 since 1988 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

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 home, 314 503 0003).

Catholic Diocese settles lawsuit

Posted: Oct 28, 2009 4:23 PM CDT Updated: Oct 28, 2009 4:57 PM CDT

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Catholic Diocese of Savannah has reached an agreement to pay Allan Ranta more than $4 million in a sexual abuse lawsuit.

Ranta claimed former priest Wayland Brown, molested him more than 30 years ago and that the Diocese knew about Brown's propensities.

Brown was arrested in June 2002. He was serving time for abusing a 12-year-old boy more than three decades ago in Maryland.

The victim said the abuse happened between 1973 and 1983 during a summer trip to Savannah.

Brown was an associate pastor at Saint James in Savannah from 1987 to 1988 and was living in Savannah at the time of his arrest.

During mediation, the Catholic Diocese of Savannah settled the lawsuit Wednesday with Ranta for $4.2 million to avoid the burden and expense of a lengthy trial on both sides.

In 2002, the Diocese adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People to provide a safe environment for children.

Bishop Kevin Boland of the Catholic Diocese of Savannah says, "The protection of children and youth is of the utmost importance."

He also said he's sorry for Ranta's pain and suffering and his prayers go out to him and all children who were victims of child sexual abuse.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests