CA- Victims seek bishop’s help

Victims seek bishop’s help

Deadline has been set for victims to step forward

According to court filing, 11 predators worked in diocese

But survivors’ group says “there are surely more”

SNAP: Anyone who believes they have a claim should act now

Organization is available to help survivors as they navigate this process


Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will;

-- urge officials of the Stockton Catholic diocese to aggressively seek out abuse victims before an August 15th deadline;

-- list names the 11 predator priests diocesan officials admit to, plus identify additional child molesting clerics who have been accused, sued or convicted (and where they worked);

-- beg victims to come forward, report crimes and report their abuse before it is too late.

-- give out contact information for local SNAP leaders who are available to help survivors as they come forward    


Outside the Diocesan headquarters, 212 N San Joaquin Street (between Miner and Channel), Stockton


Wednesday, July 16th at 11:00 a.m.


Two to three victims of child sex abuse and their supporters who are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (


In January, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton filed for bankruptcy. The deadline for sex abuse victims to report abuse and seek compensation is August 15 at 4:00 pm.

The August 15th deadline, or "bar date," is explicitly for child sex abuse victims. (Other “creditors” have an earlier deadline.)  After August 15th, victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Stockton will likely be unable to use the civil justice system to seek justice.

However, for almost two weeks, from June 25th through  July 7th, a toll free phone line giving information to clergy sex abuse victims in the Stockton Diocese malfunctioned, according to a New Mexico newspaper.

 (The complete text of the July 12th article is pasted below.)  

While the faulty phone lines were being monitored by the California law firm of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones, SNAP feels the person ultimately responsible for outreach to victims of child molesting clerics is Stockton's Bishop Stephen Blaire.

SNAP is urging Blaire to step up efforts to find and help victims now. The group wants Blaire to personally visit every parish where pedophile priests worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to speak up. He should post the names of every proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting cleric in every parish bulletin, SNAP says, and should “more aggressively than ever seek out those who are in pain because Catholic priests assaulted kids and Catholic officials hid those crimes.”

Church officials acknowledged in court papers that 11 predators were active in the Stockton Diocese. They have also supplied information on where in the diocese each of them worked.

However, using the resources available on, SNAP has identified six additional names of child molesting clerics who have been or are in the diocese.

That list and information about each of the names on it will be handed out at the press conference. The survivors’ group will also provide a list of affected parishes and schools. Multiple offenders worked in eleven institutions in the Diocese of Stockton, including one parish where five offenders worked.

Well aware that even both lists combined may not be exhaustive, SNAP is begging survivors to come forward. They are recommending that victims report any criminal behavior to the police first. They also suggest that anyone wanting to press their civil claims contact local SNAP leaders before going to the diocese:

Tim Lennon (415-312-5820 cell, [email protected])

Melanie Jula Sakoda (925-708-6175 cell, [email protected])

The survivors’ group wants to stress to all victims that they may lose all rights to compensation for their injuries if they don’t act quickly.  

"There is only a very short period of time left for victims to come forward and seek justice," said Tim Lennon of San Francisco, San Francisco Director of SNAP. "We believe that there could well be hundreds of children who were abused by predators in the Diocese of Stockton. For their own healing, and for the protection of other kids, it’s crucial that they find the courage and strength to speak up."

Lennon and East Bay SNAP leader Melanie Jula Sakoda are willing to help survivors who want to come forward, or who are considering coming forward. If there is enough interest, they will return to Stockton and hold an informational meeting for victims.

Sakoda said, “I know it can be scary and intimidating to talk to anyone about your abuse, but if you don’t speak up now, you may not have another chance.”

Tim Lennon of San Francisco, SNAP San Francisco Director (415-312-5820, [email protected]), Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, CA, SNAP East Bay Director (925-708-6175 cell, [email protected]), David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director, (314-566-9790, [email protected])


Showing 2 comments

  • Dave Bradshaw
    commented 2014-08-10 13:02:18 -0500
    What about victims of clergy abuse who go to the assistance ministry in downtown Los Angeles, report horrific tales of abuse, can describe the offender without his clothes, has the journals of parents talking about their child spending so much time with the priest in their marriage encounter journal, who has literally lined from hanging himself because of the body memories of the abuse, who has faithfully served as a music minister for almost 30 years, who chose not to sue the church for lots and lots of money because her knew it would be paid from the pews and not the altar in exchange for help with therapy as he lives in the turmoil of PTSD, is then sent to a trauma center to journey through the memories of abuse but is placed in a trauma center room and forced to sleep in the same bedroom with convicted child sex offenders, who is told after a number of years they. A not put the priests name on the list because another victim has to come forward, and just recently got a fed ex document offering $5 grand and another $7 grand to go for college tuition bills and not one dollar for continued therapy or any medical care stemmed from PTSD, which also says they are not in any way accepting responsibility for the alleged a use and finally says by signing and accepting the offered amount sign would Also wash their hands of the trauma I went through and I would no longer be able to mention the trauma them or ask for any more help dealing with said trauma for the rest of my life. To this day, I fight to get a good night sleep from the memories and am lucky to sleep 4 hours before my trauma memories start to impede my sleep. I have played at least 4 Catholic masses since 1987 nearly every weekend and even taught music a a catholic school got 11 years and can you believe was told by a Catholic ordained deacon who was also the parish administrator for one of the model churches for Los Angeles after realizing he made a mistake and my health insurance got cancelled and sent to Cobra and I quote , “ahh poor Dave! always the poor victim! Fuck you Dave!” and follows that up wih slamming the phone down and hanging up. That day I went to Kaiser to pick up my PTSD Meds which the diocese never helped me pay for nor the copay to see the psychiatrist and refused to help pay for my health insurance so I could get he PTSD medication, was told by kaiser my insurance was terminated. I had moved from the parish I worked at for 11 years who had just cut my pay by %60 and health insurance cut to the above mentioned model church to get health insurance and a promise of weddings and alike and promised by the above said deacon that unless something catastrophic happened, the 90 day probationary period was nothing to worry about. And when the 90th day came, that same deacon did not stand up and defend me when the parish pastor pulled all of my employee benefits (ie health insurance) and promise of weddings, put me on a contracting basis, l because the music director lied and said I could not play foot pedals on the pipe organ. Anyone rhat knows me , knows my level of musicianship is very high and definitely includes the ability to play foot pedals on an organ. Assuming whoever reads this is confused but basically I quit a 11 year job to go to another job on the pretense of extra masses through weddings and alike and especially the promise Of health insurance so I could continue getting the medication for the PTSD). The probationary period was just a formality and the deacon who promised me I would be there for many years did not stand up for me not did he stand up for a complete injustice by the pastor for believing the threatened music directors lie about the foot pedals. So I lost my health insurance, I no longer was afforded to opportunity to earn money at extra masses as promised because of a unsubstantiated lie. Instead of quitting, I chose to stay because my ministry inside the church outweighed to complete injustice done to me and I thought one day it would be made right. The pastor who I mentioned took the benefits away retired and can you believe after years of begging for the extra work I was promised, the deacon that hired me and promised me the probAtion was only a formality has not done one thing to change the injustice done to me. I am a piano technician and a good one at that, and I even asked for the opportunity to take over the maintenance and tuning for the parish pianos, and he refused to persuade the music director (the one that lied and got my benefits terminated) to hire me for the piano maintenance. So a little boy who suffered horrific sexual rape, who had faithfully served the Catholic Church for most of his life, who did not sue for millions for the abuse, who believed the nun in the assistance ministry department would help me for the test of my life in exchange for not suing, now canoot sue the church because of the statute of limitations is offered a measly $12 to walk away and so they can wash their hands from my abuse. What happens to people like that? I get to live with horrific memories and body memories and all of the issues hat trauma has created and believe me there are many, and the priest who did this to me Gets to retire in peace And the church can erase my name from the “have to help” lost. I have never waivered in my loyalty to the Catholic Church. Yet, the church cannot even practice what they preach, even with one of the little boys who go hurt who continues to serve as an adult. What happens to them?
  • Diane Polonsky
    commented 2014-07-22 13:26:46 -0500
    Abused by Priest is a great network. I wish we had one for the abused by Rabbi’s one as well done as this one. Abuse is a big problem in the Jewish Orthodox Community too. We are definitively not immunized to it. – The Rabbi’s here stalk women, call them “evil” and sexually assault them, in New York the problem at least is being recognized now. Diane Polonsky, Los Angeles on

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