WA--Victims applaud $5 million judgment vs. predator priest
For immediate release: Monday, Aug. 24
We are glad that a judge has awarded a brave victim of a Yakima predator priest a $5 million judgment. We hope this victim’s courage will inspire others who are in pain because of child molesting clerics to step forward, seek justice, expose predators and protect kids.
As we said back in February 2014, Catholic officials should now aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered Fr. Calhoun’s crimes and beg them to call law enforcement.
Fr. Calhoun was ordained by the Beaumont Diocese and he faced his first child sex abuse lawsuit in 1988.
According to BishopAccountability.org, Fr. Calhoun's personnel file “shows he should never have been ordained.” In 1969, he raped a 15 year old and was transferred to the Yakima Diocese where he continued to abuse.
Fr. Calhoun is a serial predator. He was recruited, educated, ordained, trained, transferred and shielded by Catholic officials. So whether he's still in a church or not, it's the duty of Catholic officials to warn families about him and protect kids from him.
Yakima church officials and Bishop Curtis J. Guillory should use their vast resources – church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements - to seek out others with knowledge and suspicions about Fr. Calhoun - and beg them to call police so he might be prosecuted and kept away from children.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.