The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, June 4, 2010
Former priest found guilty of child abuse; clergy sex abuse victims respond
Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwestern Director 414-429-7259
We’re grateful that it’s now clear that Barnes is a child molester. We hope this court action will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes to come forward and get help.
We strongly suspect there are others Barnes has assaulted who are suffering in shame, silence and self blame. We hope they’ll find the courage and strength to speak up and call police, so he might be charged with and convicted for other crimes, resulting in a longer sentence.
(SNAP, he 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)
OCEAN CITY: Former priest found guilty of child abuse
OCEAN CITY — A North Carolina man accused of sexually abusing a child in Ocean City more than 30 years ago was found guilty when he had his day in court Thursday.
Michael Lowell Barnes, 64, submitted an Alford plea June 3 in Worcester County Circuit Court to child abuse as a custodian. Fifteen other charges of second- and third-degree sex offenses, second-degree assault, and additional counts of child abuse as a custodian were dropped by prosecutors.
Barnes hasn't yet been sentenced for the offense because the judge ordered a routine pre-sentencing investigation of his background.
Ocean City police received allegations in late 2009 of abuse allegedly taking place between 1977 and 1983, when the victim was a minor. Barnes was later apprehended at his home in North Carolina.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore told The Associated Press that Barnes was the associate pastor of an Essex parish during the time of the alleged abuse and that he left the priesthood in 1988.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests