Ex-predator priest is sued

  • Ex-predator priest is sued
  • In 80s, he pled guilty to abusing a boy
  • But archdiocese put him back in a parish
  • Then, from 1997-2001, he molested a girl
  • Now, he walks free & his whereabouts are unknown
  • Cleric’s child sex crimes are the most recent ones known in St. Louis
  • And she’s the youngest MO girl to ever sue an abusive Catholic priest
  • SNAP praises brave teenager & urges others to ‘step forward & call cops


At a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will

-- disclose a new child sex abuse & cover up lawsuit of a notorious St. Louis cleric,

-- praise the teenaged victim, the youngest Missouri girl to sue a pedophile priest,

They will also

-- blast church officials for putting a convicted child molester in a parish,

-- warning few or no parishioners about him (as recently as 2002), and

-- urge them to put this criminal - and other child molesting clerics - on their websites (like more than tw dozen other Catholic bishops have done.


Monday, October 24 at 1:00 p.m.


Outside the St. Louis archdiocesan HQ/chancery office, 4445 Lindell (near Taylor), in the Central West End 


Two-three clergy abuse victims who belong to an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)


A new civil lawsuit filed today in the City of St. Louis charges that Fr. Joseph D. Ross molested a 6-year-old girl at St. Cronan’s parish on the city’s south side from roughly 1997 to 2001.

According to news accounts, Ross pleaded guilty in 1988 to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy two years earlier. He was sentenced to two years probation.  During that case, Ross admitted that he had earlier been accused of molesting one child in 1970s and had been arrested for propositioning a police officer and for public indecency.

Despite all of this, archdiocese officials quietly sent Ross to work at St. Cronan’s after spending time at a church-run facility for child-molesting clerics. When another St. Cronan’s priest questioned archdiocesan officials about Ross, he was assured that Ross posed no danger to kids.

In the new case, Ross got access to the child while her mom was at choir practice. He told the girl that her parents did not “discipline” her properly and that by complying with the abuse, she was doing what God intended for her. He further told her that he “liked boys more than girls,” and that she was helping him to overcome that issue. 

In March 2002, the archdiocese put Ross on leave. A civil suit against him was filed in November 2002, alleging that he abused a 14-year-old boy in 1977. That case has been settled.

When Ross was sent to St. Cronan’s, the then-pastor went to the archdiocesan headquarters asking about Ross’ background. He “was told to shut-up” and “mind his own business,” according to a blog post by another priest. http://reform-network.net/?p=1430

Ross worked at parishes in University City (in the late 1990s), Lemay, Pacific, and Woodson Terrace. In August of 2002, church officials announced that he’d been defrocked. Within the last few years, he also lived in Arkansas.

A photo of Ross is available at BishopAccountability.org

The victim is represented by Clayton attorneys Susan Carlson and Ken Chackes (872 8420).


Barbara Dorris (314) 862 7688 home, (314) 503 0003 cell, [email protected], David Clohessy (314) 566 9790,[email protected]

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