CA- Sex offenders challenge laws

For immediate release: Friday, May 16 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])

A group of convicted sex offenders are mounting legal attacks on laws regulating where they can live. We urge caution here and hope that courts rebuff these challenges.

These laws aren't perfect. But let's keep some perspective. While a relatively small group of grown-ups face some problems because of imperfect laws, a much larger group of children face substantially more horrific damage because of adult criminals.

These laws are relatively new, but for decades we as a society have minimized child sex crimes and made it very hard for victims to expose predators, seek justice, protect others and start healing. The vulnerable and the wounded should be our priority, not those who have caused and may still be causing such horrific pain.

Some estimate that one in three or four girls and one in seven or eight boys are sexually violated. That's where our focus really belongs – on combating this crisis first, before fixating on where convicted criminal may or may not live.

Adults who want to change these laws to help other adults should move slowly. And they should first address a much more devastating injustice: the harm done to hundreds of thousands of boys and girls who are sexually assaulted by child molesters.

If sex offender laws are too vague or broad and need to be made clearer and tighter, that's a discussion that may be worth having. But it should happen only after our society, lawmakers and law enforcement officials figure how to do a much better job of protecting kids.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 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, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])

Showing 2 comments

  • Cindy Pruitt
    commented 2014-05-17 16:28:50 -0500
    A different kind of perspective… this type of law ensures that 3 or 4 out of 3 or 4 girls and 7 or 8 out of 7 or 8 boys will grow up in a country that condones violating the State and US Constitutions – which apply to all, like them or not – for a chosen few.

    That is 100% unacceptable and must be addressed first and foremost, quickly and efficiently. My gratitude to those who are doing it.
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-05-17 15:45:16 -0500
    Generally, I prefer to read both the SNAP comment posted here, as well as, the original article that generated the posted comment. Usually, I read the comment first, then go back and open up the link to read the article. This time however, when I went back to click on the link and saw the title of the link which basically says the plaintiff, sex offender, is trying to say his “constitutional rights” are being “violated” (by having to conform on restrictions about where he can live after serving his sentence), I nearly felt like throwing up!
    In fact, I almost just can’t stand to even think about any of these convicted pedophiles being released from jail, let alone again allowed to be preditors. How in “God’s green earth”, do these people FIND attorneys to represent such twisted and perverse demands of convicted pedophiles??? Or, maybe this one studied in prison and is representing himself because no one else would represent him. In view of my opinion on what should have been his fate upon conviction, I think any of them should consider themselves lucky to have been able to “study” anything while incarcerated, and what’s more, consider themselves lucky and be grateful they weren’t given a death penalty for their crimes.

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