The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 27, 2010
New York priest accused of sexual assault pleads in TX; SNAP responds
Statement by Barbara Blaine, President and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747)
We hope that Archbishop Dolan will explain why a New York priest was working in Texas. We also hope Dolan will use his vast archdiocesan resources – websites, weekly newspaper, parish bulletins, and pulpit announcements – to seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Valenta.
Let’s hope every single person with any information about his wrongdoing will come forward, call police get help, protect others, expose wrongdoers and start healing.
(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)
Priest accused of sexual assault pleads no contest
TEMPLE - An elderly New York priest arrested in Milam County for sexual assault last year entered a plea of no contest to a lesser charge of injury to the elderly on Monday.
The alleged incident involving Stephen Mary Valenta, 86, of Staten Island, N.Y., occurred in May 2008 while he was reportedly filling in for the regular parish priest at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.
The incident reportedly did not occur at the church located in Rockdale, about 50 miles southeast of Temple.
The plea agreement was for five years probation.
Visiting Priest Indicted for Sexual Assault In Central Texas
Reporter: By Paul J. Gately, firstname.lastname@example.org
ROCKDALE (April 20, 2009)--An 85-year-old priest has been indicted on charges of sexual assault and prohibited sexual conduct.
In 2008, Father Stephen Mary Valenta was sent to St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Rockdale from Staten Island, N.Y., to fill in for the local priest who was sent out of state for training.
The indictment stems from the sexual assault of a woman who police think is a relative during the period when Valenta was here.
A check with the Milam County District Attorney on Monday indicated authorities there are unsure of Valenta's whereabouts.
Rockdale Police Lt. J.D. Newlin, however, told News 10 he believes Valenta has been back in New York for some time.
Newlin said he is confident extradition proceedings will be initiated, but said that actually is up to the Sheriff’s Office.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests