- Victims praise one prosecutor & blast another
- Brooklyn DA arrests dozens of Orthodox predators
- But Bronx prosecutor cuts “bizarre deal” with Catholic one
- Group also praises Jewish victims for “breaking their silence”
- It blasts case where principal was charged, pled & sentenced on same day
- SNAP: All churches must seek out others who saw, suspected & suffered crimes
Holding signs and childhood photos at two sidewalk news conferences, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
-- praise a Brooklyn DA for pursuing 85 alleged Orthodox Jewish child predators,
-- blast Bronx prosecutor who let a Catholic principal be charged with child porn, plead guilty and be sentenced – leniently – on the same day, and
-- urge all church officials – in every denomination – to work harder to reach out to child sex crime victims, &
-- beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes – by any cleric – to step forward, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
Monday, Dec. 12 at 1:00 p.m
On the sidewalk outside the Brooklyn DA’s office, 350 Jay Street, Brooklyn
Two-three clergy sex abuse victims (and supporters) who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including an Illinois woman who is the organization’s long-time president
On Friday, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes disclosed that his office has pursued child sex charges against 85 accused Orthodox child molesters through its three year old initiative called Kol Tzedek (Hebrew for “voice of justice”). The cases involve 117 victims and resulted in 14 predators getting jail time.
(However,24 accused Orthodox clerics have, according to the NY Post, “walked free. They got probation, pleaded to minor charges, or saw their cases dismissed — often because victims or their parents backed out under community pressure.”)
Among those accused is Andrew Goodman, 27, who worked for several Jewish social-service agencies and allegedly abused two Orthodox boys for years in Flatbush, according to The Jewish Daily Forward.
SNAP is grateful to Hynes and even more grateful to the brave victims who they say are courageously overcoming a “deeply rooted, dangerous culture of secrecy.”
At the same time, however, SNAP is highly critical of Bronx D.A Robert Johnston (718) 590-2000 for his handling of a recent child porn case involving a Catholic cleric and principal.
In late November, news broke that Catholic church and school officials kept quiet for nine-months about child porn on a cleric’s computer at a Bronx school. And in a highly suspicious move, the cleric was charged, pled guilty and was sentenced on the same day, which SNAP finds highly suspect. The criminal, Brother Lawrence Gordon, was assistant principal at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx. He belongs to a Catholic religious order called the Marists.
SNAP wants Johnston to explain the unusual deal, and is urging others who have suspicions or knowledge of his crimes to contact police right away so Gordon might be charged with other crimes.
The group is highly critical of the church and school officials for keeping quiet about this dangerous situation. Such callous and irresponsible secrecy and delay, SNAP says, gives ample time for corrupt church and school officials to intimidate victims, threaten whistleblowers, discredit witnesses, fabricate alibis, and destroy evidence.