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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Boston/NH priest arrested in prostitution sting
Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003)
We hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by this cleric will find the courage and strength to report to law enforcement officials, not church officials. By speaking up, we can help protect others and heal ourselves. And by giving information to police and prosecutors, we can help keep sex offenders off the streets.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 22 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), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 03:09PM
NASHUA – A Catholic priest is one of eight men police arrested Friday and Saturday during a prostitution sting.
Police arrested the eight men, three of whom are Nashua residents, for allegedly responding to a Craigslist advertisement by showing up to a local hotel intent on paying for sex.
Ventura is a parochial vicar at St. John’s Evangelist Church in Chelmsford, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Boston. Ventura has agreed to take a leave of absence pending the Nashua Police investigation, according to the release.
Archdiocese spokesperson Terrence Donilon said Ventura was ordained in 2006, but he wasn’t sure how long he has been at the Chelmsford church.
Donilon said the diocese will not comment further on Ventura’s arrest.
All eight men were charged with a single count of prostitution, a Class A misdemeanor, and released on bail. Ventura will be arraigned at Nashua District Court on April 22 and the rest will be arraigned, at the same court, on April 23, police said.
The Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail plus fines, police said.
Members of the Nashua Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit and Narcotics Intelligence Division conducted the sting operation, police said.
– Joseph G. Cote
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests