WA - Victims to archbishop: Where are the predators?
- Victims to archbishop: Where are the predators?
- Eleven Seattle area clerics at two schools are accused
- SNAP: “Catholic officials should say where they are now”
- Such disclosures “help protect children,” support group says
- It also backs bill in Olympia to lift “predator-friendly deadline”
- Proposal would help child victims expose pedophiles in court
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will blast Seattle’s Catholic archbishop for what they call his “hands off” approach to at least 11 local clerics who are accused of abuse at two local schools. They will also urge him to
--publicize the whereabouts of the alleged offenders and
--push to have them put in treatment centers.
And the victims will
--endorse a proposed state law that would enable more child sex abuse victims to press criminal charges against their perpetrators, and
--urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups to report to police and prosecutors, not to church officials.
Monday, Feb. 4 at 11:00 a.m.
Outside the Seattle archdiocesan headquarters (“chancery”), 710 9th Ave. (corner of Cherry St.) in Seattle
Two-four clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a confidential support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis woman who is the organization’s long time outreach director
At least eleven clerics who worked at Seattle area Catholic schools are named as suspected child molesters in civil litigation. SNAP believes that Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain should tell his flock their whereabouts and clerical status. He should also, SNAP believes, prod the accused clerics’ direct supervisors to put the men in a remote, secure, independent treatment center so they will be kept away from kids.
The clerics belong to a New York-based religious order called the Christian Brothers which is in bankruptcy proceedings. But they worked in western Washington with the explicit permission of Seattle archdiocesan officials. And Sartain is in charge of the safety and well-being of all western Washington Catholics, no matter who signs the individual cleric’s paycheck.
They accused clerics include: Br. Edward C. (Chris) Courtney, Br. Casale, Br. Croke, Br. Duffy, Br. George Dwyer, Br. Gerard Aloysius Kealy, Br. John Bartholomew Lackie, Br. O'Sullivan, Br. C. P. Ryan, Br. Karl Walczak, and Br. Warren. All of them worked at Briscoe except Courtney and Walczak, both of who worked at O’Dea.
Walczak is the most recent Seattle area cleric to face a child sex abuse allegation. Until last November, he was O’Dea’s principal. Months earlier, he was accused of abusing a boy. But Catholic officials with the Seattle archdiocese and the Christian Brothers kept quiet about the allegations.
SNAP also wants Sartain to vigorously lobby for Senate Bill 5100 which would extent the criminal statute of limitations on child rape. It is sponsored by Senators James Hargrove and Mike Padden. A hearing on the measure was held last week in Olympia.
Among other reforms, the proposal would “allow (child) rape cases to be prosecuted until the victim turns 30 and extend the statute of limitations for other child sex crimes.
Current Washington law says “a case of first- or second-degree rape involving a victim 14 or older can be prosecuted for 10 years, but only if it is reported within a year after it occurs; if the victim is younger than 14, the crime can be prosecuted until the victim reaches 28, if it is reported in that first year,” according to the Spokesman-Review. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020260878_rapestatutexml.html
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.