Allegations Against Jesuit Priest Found Credible, SNAP Calls for Outreach
Allegations of sexual abuse against a former Missoula pastor have been found credible, and now SNAP is calling for Catholic officials in every location where he lived or worked to update their lists to include his name.
According to Jesuit West leaders, they have received credible allegations that Rev. Richard D. (Rich) Perry abused a minor from 1979 to 1983 while he worked in Seattle at Seattle Preparatory College. It seems notable to us that Rev. Perry was sent on a one-year sabbatical in 1979, the first year that the reported abuse occurred. It is hard to believe that this timing is a coincidence and we worry that Rev. Perry may have been sent away because Catholic officials were informed of his abuse far earlier than they are reporting today.
It is especially concerning that Rev. Perry was elevated to the position of superior of the Ravalli Jesuit Community in Missoula, Montana, years after the abuse occurred in Seattle. He worked in that position of honor and authority for four years before a woman reported in 2019 that he had “inappropriate contact” with her. Given the timeframe of the allegations against Rev. Perry, the fact that at least two women have come forward, and because data shows that the majority of abusers have multiple victims, we believe that it is very probable that there are other women who have been hurt by this priest and have remained silent.
Jesuit West leaders have already added Rev. Perry’s name and assignment history to their list of accused clerics, and now we call on Catholic officials in every location where Rev. Perry worked to update their own lists to include his name. They should also share this information with their parish community, urging others who may have been hurt by him to come forward and make a report to police and prosecutors.
CONTACT: 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)