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SNAP
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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Clergy sex victims respond to new CT pedophile priest lawsuit

Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director for SNAP 314-862-7688

We applaud this brave victim for speaking up. We hope his courage will prod others with information about Fr. Stephen Bzdyra to step forward, get help, call police, protect others and start healing.

If true, the allegations that this cleric took advantage of a low income family and claimed he could get social workers to separate this boy from his mother are especially heinous.

Catholic officials should use this opportunity to remind people that child predators rarely stop molesting and, in fact, often get more shrewd and cunning and effective over time, because they learn how to better pick kids who can’t tell or won’t be believed and how to better ‘explain away’ their suspicious behavior.

We hope that current and former church members and employees in each of the towns where Bzdrya worked will ask their loved ones if Bzdrya hurt them and, if so, will prod other victims to contact therapists, police, support groups and other independent sources of help.

(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), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)

http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-priest-abuse0708-20100707,0,7939015.story

Man Accuses Seymour Priest Of Abusing Him When He Was An Altar Boy

By DAVE ALTIMARI, daltimar@courant.com, 12:47 p.m. EDT, July 7, 2010

A 34-year-old local man filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing the current pastor at a Roman Catholic Church in Seymour of molesting him when he was a teenage altar boy and then trying to buy his silence with new cars and home appliances.

The lawsuit, filed in New Haven, alleges that the Rev. Stephen Bzdyra, currently the pastor at St. Augustine Church in Seymour, abused William Dotson starting in the mid-1980s when Dotson was an altar boy at St. Francis Church in New Haven.

The lawsuit alleges the abuse started one day after catechism class at St. Francis when Dotson was 10.

The lawsuit alleges that Bzdyra took Dotson into the basement and accused him of telling a lie during the class. Bzdrya then pulled down Dotson's pants, whipped him with his belt and anally raped him, the lawsuit said.

The priest told Dotson that if he told anyone, he would report Dotson's mother to the welfare department for "having too many jobs" and he would be taken away by DCF, never to see his family again.

Dotson claims that the abuse continued even after Bzdyra moved on to become the pastor at St. Hedwig's Church in Naugatuck. Dotson never told anyone about the abuse at the time because the priest was close to his family, particularly his mother, he said.

New Haven attorney Joel Faxon, who is representing Dotson, said Bzdyra was so fearful that Dotson would reveal the abuse that he bribed him with "hush money" and bought him cars and even a washer and dryer.

"Bzdyra ca refully preyed on children who he knew would be vulnerable targets, a characteristic of any abusive pedophile,'' Faxon said. "Knowing that Mrs. Dotson was a hard-working, single mother, Bzdyra first infiltrated the family as a friend and father figure and then used their trust and faith against them to fulfill his own sick and twisted sexual desires."

Dotson is now married and the father of three children. He finally decided to go public with his allegations after finally telling his mother about it. Faxon said Dotson is concerned for children at St. Augustine's.


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
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