The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, April 16, 2010
Couple accused priest of stalking their teen son; sex abuse victims respond
Statement by Barbara Dorris of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests 314 862 7688
We strongly suspect there’s more to this story than meets the eye. It’s unusual for a priest to move between two dioceses and a religious order. It also raises questions about how forthcoming Denver church officials are in clergy misconduct cases.
Common sense and psychology strongly suggest that if a priest was stalking and ‘grooming’ one child, he likely did the same to others. Had church officials admitted this three or four months ago, maybe one struggling boy or girl who feels confused and hurt by Montez’ inappropriate conduct would be in therapy today or on the road to healing.
Others who saw, suspected or suffered misdeeds by Montez or other clerics should speak up. Silence protects no one. Disclosure brings healing and prevention.
(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 globe. 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)
Contacts: David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003)
Couple accuses priest of stalking their teen son
A couple belonging to St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Centennial today will ask a Douglas County judge for a permanent restraining order against a 50-year-old priest they allege stalked their family.
Timothy and Teresa Boh allege Father Paul Montez attempted to alienate their teenage son from them.
On April 2, the Bohs obtained a temporary protective order against Montez, also known as Edgar Montez. They claim he attempted for more than a year to manipulate their son with dozens of gifts of clothing, a laptop computer and more than 220 outings to meals, movies and other events.
"Montez started grooming (our son), for what we believe would have resulted in sexual assault had Montez not been stopped," the Bohs wrote in their complaint.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Denver placed Montez on administrative leave Jan. 11, according to court records.
Monsignor Bernard Schmitz, Denver's vicar for clergy, ordered Montez not to have contact with the boy and to stop interfering in family business, but Montez did not comply, the Bohs said in their complaint.
On Feb. 11, the archdiocese removed Montez from ministry and ordered him to leave St. Thomas More, the complaint says.
Montez is one of two priests the archdiocese has removed from duty at St. Thomas More this year. The archdiocese also removed 74-year- old Father Melvin Thompson on April 8 after receiving a complaint against him April 7 alleging a sexual-abuse incident in the early 1970s.
An investigation is underway in Thompson's case.
Montez, a Benedictine invited to join St. Thomas More in July 2008 by Pastor Andrew Kemberling, is no longer allowed to minister in the archdiocese.
Montez could not be reached for comment. Kemberling referred The Denver Post's call to him to the archdiocese.
"We listened to the concerns of the parishioners and investigated," archdiocese spokeswoman Jeanette DeMelo said. "We deemed Father Montez inappropriate in his conduct to others, and that's why he was removed. We did not uncover any sexual misconduct."
DeMelo said the archdiocese informed the parish, Montez's Kansas- based order and his former diocese of Pueblo. Montez had been the pastor at St. Michael's Parish in Delta; the Pueblo Diocese did not return calls about his tenure there.
Montez has taken a three-year hiatus from the Benedictine Order and is living in the Pueblo area, where he grew up.
The Bohs declined to talk about the case to The Post except to say "the archdiocese acted appropriately in every way." However, in their complaint, the Bohs also allege that Kemberling did not enforce Schmitz's no-contact order.
The Bohs claim Montez encouraged their son, who turned 18 in September 2009, to leave home two months later and stay at the St. Thomas More youth center. They claim Montez told their son and some parishioners that his family was abusive.
The Bohs said Montez later arranged for the young man to live with parishioners Bruce Robinson, a deputy with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, and his wife, Janet, the Bohs said. The complaint alleges that, by December, Montez and Bruce Robinson also told the young man to tell his parents that they could be arrested for harassment if they tried to speak to him at St. Thomas More.
Robinson could not be reached for comment. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson (no relation) said he had no knowledge of the situation, but that it sounded to him as if the deputy probably believed he was helping a boy in trouble.
Electa Draper: 303-954-1276 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests