A former Catholic youth minister faces multiple charges involving a child; SNAP wants more information from the Archdiocese

Douglas Johnson faces six criminal charges related to the unlawful videotaping of a girl in Chesapeake. Johnson worked as a youth minister at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston from 2005 to 2018. Prior to being employed at St. John Neumann, Johnson volunteered for more than two decades in the youth program there and at St. Thomas à Becket Catholic Church, also in Reston. During most of the time that he was volunteering, Johnson worked for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Those who sexually abuse children seldom have just one victim, so we urge the Catholic Archdiocese of Arlington to do outreach to parishioners at St. John Neumann and at St. Thomas à Becket, informing them of the charges against Johnson at each mass in both parishes. This announcement should include begging anyone who experienced, witnessed, or suspected Johnson of abuse to report immediately to law enforcement. Instead of just talking about everything that was done in the past, the Archdiocese should focus on identifying and helping any children who may have been hurt.

We also would ask the Archdiocese to explain why Johnson is a "former" youth minister. While the statement from the Archdiocese claimed that "No known complaints or allegations have been made against Johnson related to his time as an employee and volunteer," it seems to us that in light of these serious charges a more complete explanation should be forthcoming.

The WMATA should also investigate whether or not any children were hurt during Johnson's years in their employ. Although his jobs in transportation were not ones where it would appear that he would be in contact with girls and boys, we would not want any potential victims to be left to suffer alone and in silence.

We urge anyone who may have been harmed by Johnson to contact law enforcement directly. We further encourage any person that may have knowledge of any harm caused by Johnson to also contact the police. 

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager,( [email protected], 267-261-0578) Becky Ianni, SNAP Virginia Leader ([email protected], 703-801-6044), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

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