Florida Police Officer and Catholic School Staffer Arrested, SNAP Calls for Outreach
Yet another Catholic staffer has been arrested on charges. In this case, the police officer and Catholic staffer engaged in sexting a person who he believed was an underage girl. We call on Church officials in the Archdiocese of Miami to ensure that the information about their staffer's arrest is made available to parents at the schools where he worked and that any potential victims or witnesses are encouraged to come forward to local police.
The arrest involves a Florida police officer who doubled as an employee at two Catholic schools. Louis James Walsh was arrested for engaging in sexual chats online with an undercover detective who Walsh believed was an underage girl, but was actually an undercover detective. According to reports, Walsh worked at two schools within the Archdiocese of Miami; Cardinal Gibbons High School and St. Anthony Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale
Given Walsh’s role as an authority figure both as a police officer as well as a security officer at two schools and a coach at one of them, we worry that there may be others who were subjected to similar behavior. This situation seems rife with opportunities for grooming. Science is clear that most children who experience crimes like this do not come forward until many years later, if at all. To us, this means that Catholic officials in Miami should use all the resources at their disposal to ensure that parents of the students at these schools are aware of the charges and can ask their children if anything inappropriate happened to them.
(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)