GA--New abuse suit filed vs. Catholic predator

For immediate release: Friday, March 20

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003,

A new clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit has been filed against the Savannah Catholic diocese. It charges that a notorious serial predator – Fr. Wayland Brown – repeatedly assaulted a 13 year old boy in 1987-88 at St. James Catholic School in Savannah. The victim is represented by Savannah attorney Mark Tate,, 912-484-1762   

In an earlier civil case, a victim molested by Fr. Brown received a $4.2 million settlement.

Fr. Brown was ordained in 1977 but church records show that concerns about him go back as far as 1969. In 1986, for instance, at least one Catholic official knew Fr. Brown was being investigated for possible criminal child sex charges. But Fr. Brown was kept on the job and quietly shuffled around for years hurting children over and over again.

We applaud this brave, wounded man who is filing suit. It takes real courage to break his silence and expose the dreadfully reckless and callous actions Catholic officials took that repeatedly endangered innocent kids and helped a shrewd predator.

We hope this lawsuit will prod and inspire others who have been hurt by Brown and other clergy to call police, protect others and start healing.

When victims, whistleblowers and witnesses speak up, predators are exposed and children are protected. But when victims, whistleblowers and witnesses stay silent, predators walk free and kids are assaulted.

Brown once served prison time in Maryland for his crimes. We hope police and prosecutors are able to convict him again and keep this dangerous predator behind bars. But that will only happen if others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes come forward.

We call on Savannah Catholic officials – including Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer - to use their vast resources to reach out to others who were assaulted by Brown and who are likely still suffering in shame, silence and self-blame. Church staff should use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to prod others in pain to step forward.

Brown worked in churches, hospitals and prisons in Augusta, Savannah, Moultrie, Camilla, and Isle of Hope. He also worked in Gaithersburg Maryland and spent time in a church treatment center in Suitland Maryland.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 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,, Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003,, Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747,  


Showing 4 comments

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Secured Via NationBuilder
  • Sally Bryant
    commented 2016-06-24 03:08:44 -0500
    He uses alias “Tom Brown”
  • Allen Sires
    commented 2015-03-22 17:19:17 -0500
    What must happen for church leadership to be held under the same level of scrutiny as this survivor ??
  • Iain Pattison
    commented 2015-03-20 19:25:45 -0500
    I praise SNAP for always praising people who step forward and take their abuser & concealer to court. I agree with SNAP and I hope this brave man’s psychological wounds heal well. I hope this person finds the peace of mind he deserves because he has shown guts, decency & intelligence. I wish him well in his trial and beyond.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2015-03-20 15:48:56 -0500

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Silver Participant