AL--Accused abusive priest is found not guilty; Victims respond

For immediate release: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,314 645 5915 home,

We are sad that jurors found an ex-priest not guilty of child sex crimes. We believe this verdict will endanger kids. We’ve spoken to this mom, Christina Presnell, and believe her, her son and her step-son.  We’re convinced that Fr. David Stone, also known as Fr. Francis Mary Stone, who worked for the Eternal Word Television Network, is a dangerous cleric.

We applaud this wounded boy and his family. We are deeply grateful that they had the wisdom, courage and strength to expose a dangerous cleric in court and warn others about him. They no doubt feel betrayed again at this point. But we believe that over time, they will be proud of what they’ve achieved.

Fr. Stone has reportedly been suspended. But he is still a priest and should be referred to as a priest.

He purportedly cannot present himself publicly as a priest. But unless he’s been formally defrocked by the Vatican – and we see no evidence that this has happened – he is still a priest. (Most predator priests, including some who are in prison, are not ever defrocked.)

No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

(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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,, Barbara Blaine (


Dad hurts me': therapist says priest's son said they played 'The Butt Game'

Print Email Greg Garrison | By Greg Garrison |

on May 25, 2016 at 1:12 PM, updated May 25, 2016 at 2:04 PM

David Stone, 54, formerly known as Father Frances Mary Stone, was host of the TV program "Life on the Rock" on Eternal Word Television Network. He fathered a child born in 2008. The mother was fired from EWTN and Stone was put on long-term leave of absence, according to Jefferson County court documents. (Screenshot from the EWTN program 'Life on the Rock)

The child therapist who initiated an investigation of child abuse against a Birmingham Catholic priest testified today in Jefferson County Court that the priest's son told her that his father made him play what he called "The Butt Game."

A trial began Monday for David Lawrence Stone, a Catholic priest and former EWTN TV host who . . .

Read full article here

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  • Kris Sharp
    commented 2019-01-14 09:05:38 -0600
    He wasn’t a priest when he allegedly did the act he was found not guilty of. This isn’t a clerical issue. This isn’t the church not facilitating contact with local authorities. This is a child custody issue between a lay man and lay woman and their child. He should not be a priest because of the affair. And he isn’t. Not entirely sure why the mom was fired?
  • Phil Korkus
    commented 2017-09-23 00:57:24 -0500
    SNAP is an anti-religious, atheist trolling group who will do everything and anything to delegitimize those of faith, especially of the Catholic Church since they are the largest and richest Christian denomination. I have been a lawyer for over 30 years. I have been involved in hundreds of jury trials. For these trolls to theorize that they know “more” than the jury, is disgusting and insulting. They know nothing of the truth of the case. They are guided by hate and disinformation. This jury (most were not Catholics or even Christians) deliberated for over 3 days. They were there at the trial to look into the eyes of the witnesses. They had all of the facts, evidence, and documentation before them and they came up with the verdict of Not Guilty. Shame on you SNAP for your reprehensible behavior. You make me sick!
  • Joey Warren
    commented 2017-04-03 13:00:45 -0500
    Just because he was found not guilty, does not mean he is not guilty. Point in Case. OJ Simpson.
  • Sheridan Craine
    commented 2016-07-03 19:08:22 -0500
    I do not believe these people wanted only justice. I think they want every single priests even those falsely accused to suffer. It’s basically hatred for all priests and that is my opinion. Why? Because even if something has gone to the judiciary system! They wouldn’t take a not guilty verdict. To them I say if there are priests that are guilty there are also those who are wrongfully accused and to them who gave their life to serve God truthfully and suffered the wrongful accusations how do they recompense them? Yes those guilty are sentenced . But who should answer for those good priests who had to bear the stigma of the false accusations? Do these accusers go to jail? No. So they will have much to answer to God. The same as the guilty priests, the false accusers will have much to answer to since it is a priest who’s doing God’s work they maligned.
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