The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Friday, June 25, 2010
Priest pays $500 fine in prostitution case; sex abuse victims respond
Statement by David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790)
If Ventura committed any other sexual misdeeds, we hope that those who may have information will speak up. We hope that Ventura's bishop will be honest and forthcoming with his flock about this priest's plea. (According to news accounts, Ventura is a New Hampshire native.)
(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. 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)
Chelmsford priest pays $500 fine in prostitution case
Friday, June 25, 2010
(Source: The Sun (Lowell, Massachusetts)) By John Collins, The Sun, Lowell, Mass.
June 25--NASHUA -- A Chelmsford priest arrested two months ago in a Craigslist prostitution sting by Nashua police pleaded no contest and agreed to pay a $500 yesterday in Nashua District Court. Rev. William Ventura, 31, parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Church in North Chelmsford, was one of eight men caught in the sting and charged with soliciting an adult for sex, a misdemeanor prostitution charge, which carried a maximum punishment of a year in prison. Standing next to his attorney, Gerard LaFlamme Jr., in court, Ventura entered a "nolo contendre" plea, and told Nashua District Court Judge Thomas Bamberger that he is a first-time offender. Bamberger accepted the plea, and ordered Ventura to pay the fine before leaving the courthouse. Although the amount of the fine was not stated in open court, LaFlamme told The Sun it was $500. Nashua police set up the sting on April 10 after spotting queries of men looking for prostitutes on Craigslist. The advertisement sought individuals looking to pay women for sex. Soon after his arrest, Ventura was relieved of his duties, according to the Archdiocese of Boston. He accepted a leave of absence and was prohibited from any public ministry. When asked by a Sun reporter in the courthouse lobby yesterday whether he plans to ask for reinstatement as a priest, Ventura answered that, "There will be no comment at this time."
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests