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Brownsville priest indicted on child sexual abuse charges

May 14, 2024 By: Stefany Rosales A Brownsville priest who is accused of sexually abusing a child has been indicted. The indictment filed on May 8 shows Fernando Gonzalez Ortega, 52, faces three charges of sexual assault of a child, one charge of sexual abuse by a clergyman, a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child and a charge of indecency with a child.

Michigan AG releases report on Diocese of Kalamazoo; SNAP responds

For Immediate Release May 22, 2024 We are thrilled to learn that Attorney General Dana Nessel, one of the most aggressive and effective attorneys general in the US in terms of going after institutions that enable and perpetrate abuse against children, has released a report on the Diocese of Kalamazoo. The report contains detailed descriptions of accusations of sexual abuse or assault and other sexual misconduct by priests who are current or former clergy for the Diocese of Kalamazoo. The AG's investigation resulted in criminal charges against two Kalamazoo priests, Fr. Brian Stanley and Fr. Jacob Vellian. The Diocese of Kalamazoo issued a statement in response to the AG's report. Bishop Edward M. Lohse said in part, “Our policies for protecting children and youth are some of the best that are out there, but that does not erase what happened in the past.” However, persistent claims from Church officials to focus on child sexual abuse in Catholic institutions as a "thing of the past" are simply disingenuous. This year SNAP has seen, on average, at least 4 news reports per month about the arrest of Catholic clerics or staffers for sexual abuse or misconduct. There is no sure-fire way to identify potential abusers. Moreover, most victims come forward between the ages of 50-70, which means that we may not hear from those children being hurt today for another 40 years.  We would also like to add that in our opinion, it is important for victims of clergy abuse and witnesses to first report abuse directly to law enforcement, and only then to Church officials. The best outcomes of child sexual abuse accusations in Catholic institutions come from secular investigations of these crimes. Anyone with any information regarding child abuse in Michigan should contact the Attorney General Office: Hotline: 844-324-3374 or email: [email protected]. ‘What we realize after secular investigations in many states, including Michigan, is simply this…Church officials knew about child sexual abuse and covered it up. We are not convinced that the institution has yet corrected this pattern of behavior," said Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Director. Kudos to AG Nessel. Her investigation of Catholic sexual abuse in Michigan has been one of the most effective in the country. We hope her track record will inspire those abused in any state or any similar organization to come forward and make a report to their state's Attorney General. CONTACT: Nadja Tirrell, SNAP Leader Michigan, [email protected], 517-285-0631, Nancy Crabbs, SNAP Leader Michigan, 616-514-7973, Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Director ([email protected] 267-261-0578)  Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President- Interim Executive Director, (814-341-8386 [email protected]) (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Letter to Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey

May 13, 2024 Dear Attorney General Bailey:We are survivors of awful physical, emotional, educational, educational and sexual abuse and cover up at several Christian boarding ‘schools’ in Missouri. To protect others, expose evil and help our ourselves find healing and closure, more than a dozen of us filed civil abuse and cover up lawsuits against the adults at the Ranch who committed or concealed heinous acts against us as youngsters.Over the last few months, several of us have settled our lawsuits against the Circle of Hope Girls Ranch in Humansville where we were so deeply hurt. We are gratified that our courage has helped shine a light on the horrific crimes and misdeeds that were allowed to go on there for years. But real healing and closure elude us for several reasons.

Watchdog groups respond to new revelations of two accused sexual predators in Cleveland parishes

Watchdog groups respond to new revelations of two accused sexual predators in Cleveland parishes   They ask: How many other sex offenders are active in the diocese?   In a letter to Bishop Malesic, they express concern about his “carelessness” and urge him to take immediate action   For Immediate Release, May 10, 2024   In the wake of revelations yesterday that two accused sexual predators are helping to lead Mass in Cleveland parishes, two watchdog groups are calling on Bishop Edward Malesic to act immediately to identify and remove all other diocesan personnel who might pose a risk to children and young people.   Calling the news “alarming,” a co-director of BishopAccountability.org and a longtime Ohio leader of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) are urging Malesic to take “personal responsibility” for ensuring that only adults with clean records work at his parishes, schools, hospitals, and summer camps.   In the last 24 hours, the public has learned of two accused sexual abusers serving in leadership posts in Cleveland parishes.   A Cleveland news station revealed yesterday that at St. Thomas More in Brooklyn OH, the man leading the parish in song on many Sundays for the last year is, shockingly, listed on the state’s sex offender registry. He recently served a year in prison for attempted sexual contact with a child.Exclusive: Sex offender allowed to help lead CLE Catholic church masses, Channel 5 News, 5/9/2024 And a national Catholic newspaper reported Thursday that Rev. Jeffrey Weaver, a priest accused by a diocesan official in the 1990s of sexually exploiting a teenager, has been presiding at the Latin Mass at St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish in Cleveland.Cleveland priest at center of Vatican II altar damage previously accused of abuse, National Catholic Reporter, 5/9/2024

Thurs. 5/16, 1pm KC MO presser-New abuse suit filed v. Christian boarding school

Unprecedented abuse suit filed vs. Christian boarding school Case charges ‘faith-based’ institution ‘brainwashed’ vulnerable teen It’s filed under new federal law that’s “a big help to sex trafficking victims” Prominent survivor who sued her parents to speak; they face felony charges SNAP: “But time is running out for MO lawmakers to safeguard children” Group wants more & tougher regulation of controversial ‘faith-based’ facilities Legislative session ends Friday; No progress yet on protecting kids,’ they say WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, child abuse victims will ---disclose and praise a new, barely-noticed federal law that will help abuse and trafficking victims,   ---announce the filing of an unusual civil child sex abuse suit against a Christian boarding school, ---blast Missouri’s attorney general for “doing virtually nothing” to protect boarding school kids and ---beg lawmakers to do so in the waning hours of the legislative session. WHEN Thursday May 16 at 1:00 p.m. WHERE On the sidewalk just south of the Charles E. Whittaker US Federal Courthouse, 400 E. 9th St., corner of Oak, (in Ilus Davis Park) in Kansas City, MO WHO Two-three abuse victims including --A nationally-known survivor, activist and whistleblower who sued her parents for abusing kids at a Christian reform school who has been profiled in national media including Dateline, Rolling Stone, the Daily Beast, Dr. Oz and an Amazon Prime documentary and numerous media outlets), and --a St. Louis man who for 30 years headed SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Boarding school abuse victims news conf – 11:15am, Wed 5/15 in Jeff City MO

Prominent boarding school abuse victim speaks out She sued her parents; They now face 100+ felony charges Now, she blasts AG for “insulting letter & endangering kids” Group to Bailey: "Hold zoom meeting with suffering survivors" In last minute plea, they call on lawmakers to strengthen child safety laws WHAT At a sidewalk news conference, a nationally-known survivor, activist and whistleblower will discuss --startling new revelations that a Missouri sheriff dealt with at least 15 run-away teens – including two just last Saturday – from a Christian boarding school over the past three years, -- the upcoming criminal trial of her parents on 100+ felony abuse charges stemming from their years-long severe mistreatment of kids at their boarding school, and -- her just-resolved unusual civil lawsuit against her mom and dad. Holding signs and childhood photos, she and other abuse survivors will also reveal a “terse and insulting” letter they recently received from Missouri’s attorney general, and hand-deliver a harshly critical letter to him urging him to --“stop making excuses and start taking action against these controversial, private, largely unregulated ‘faith-based’ boarding schools," and --hold a Zoom call soon with dozens of victims to "hear their pain and hopefully become more motivated to protect youngsters in these settings.” In the waning days of the legislative sessions, they will also beg lawmakers to enact measures to --impose stricter regulations on these "private, secretive and troubling so-called ‘reform schools’" and --reform Missouri’s ‘archaic and arbitrary’ laws that protect child predators and their supervisors. WHEN Wednesday, May 15 at 11:15 a.m. WHERE On the sidewalk outside the Missouri Attorney General's office, 207 W. High Street (between Broadway and Washington) in Jefferson City WHO A nationally-known survivor and activist who helped persuade prosecutors to file charges against her parents for abusing kids at their reform school and a St. Louis child sex abuse victim who for 30 years headed SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

Tues 5/14/2024 Springfield MO news conference

Victims of boarding school abuse speak out They allege ‘horrific mistreatment’ at Stockton ‘school’ Crucial criminal trial against two owners is set to  start this fall Survivors beg MO AG to act on growing scandal & meet them on Zoom Group also asks lawmakers to reform MO's ‘hurtful’ child sex suit deadline WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, child abuse victims and their supporters will --urge ‘witnesses, whistleblowers and other victims’ of abuse at a now-shuttered southwest Missouri ‘faith-based’ boarding school to contact law enforcement soon, before a crucial criminal trial begins this fall, --speak publicly for the first time about the horrific experiences (including sexual, physical, emotional and educational abuse) they suffered at two controversial and barely regulated similar facilities in southern Missouri, --blast Attorney General Andrew Bailey for essentially ignoring a letter they hand-delivered to his office last month which urged him to take three steps to protect kids at these institutions, and --beg him to meet with and listen to them in a Zoom meeting so he’ll understand their pain. They will also --prod lawmakers, in the waning days of this legislative session (which ends Friday) to reform Missouri’s ‘archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly’ statute of limitations on child sexual abuse, and ----urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse at any facilities like these to contact “independent sources of help, like police, prosecutors, therapists, attorneys, loved ones and support groups.”WHEN Tuesday, May 14 at 1:00 p.m. WHERE On the sidewalk outside the federal courthouse at 222 S. John Q. Hammons Pkwy (between Broadway and Washington) in Springfield MO WHO Three women who were sent to these facilities as youngsters and were severely mistreated at a southwest Missouri ‘faith-based’ boarding school. One is Amanda Householder, a nationally-known survivor, activist and whistleblower who, in a highly unusual move, sued her parents for severely abusing purportedly ‘troubled kids’ at the two now-shuttered Christian reform schools they ran for years. The couple face a trial this fall on 100+ felony charges. (Amanda’s experiences have been profiled on Dateline, Rolling Stone, the Daily Beast, Dr. Oz and an Amazon Prime documentary and numerous media outlets.) Joining them will be a St. Louis child sex abuse victim (and Drury College grad) who for 30 years headed SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Take Action and Stop Child Sexual Abuse

If you see child sexual abuse, or have a reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse or your child has been sexually abused, call 911 or your local police immediately. 

If you suspect abuse, call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or visit the Child Help Hotline. Trained crisis operators staff the lines 24/7 to answer your questions. If necessary, they will show you how to report in your local area.

Child pornography is a federal crime. If you see or suspect images that may be child pornography, report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTip Line

 

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