WA – Lawsuit alleging Seattle Archdiocese helped sex abuser secure a public school position recently settled, victims respond
For immediate release, Thursday, September 28, 2017
One of two lawsuits filed against the Seattle Archdiocese has settled for $1.3 million. The other suit is ongoing. Both alleged that the Archdiocese helped a teacher secure a public school position while knowing that he had sexually abused students at Archdiocesan schools. The teacher, Edward Courtney, was on a list the Archdiocese released last year of brothers, priests, deacons and nuns who abused children in its territory.
According to The News Tribune, the Seattle Archdiocese knew Mr. Courtney had abused children at St. Alphonsus Parish School and at O’Dea High School, but administrators did not report him to the state, as required by law. Instead, they wrote letters of recommendation for the teacher.
SNAP, the Survivors Network, has no direct knowledge of the allegations in these lawsuits. However, as advocates for child sex abuse victims and survivors ourselves, we know that children's lives are saved when adults tak the simple action of reporting abuse.
We applaud the two victims who filed suits for pursuing these claims. Mandatory reporters are on the front lines of defending children, and when they fail to do their job, they should be held accountable to civil and criminal law.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contacts – Mary Dispenza (425-941-6001 or 425-644-2468, Seattle@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Melanie Jula Sakoda (925-708-6175, firstname.lastname@example.org), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, email@example.com)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.