GA -- SNAP exposes 6 GA predator priests & backs SOL reform
For immediate release: Tuesday, Feb. 10
In just less than an hour, using simple “Google” searches, we’ve found six predator priests who’ve been in Atlanta but have never been exposed here as credibly accused child molesters. We suspect there are many more of them still “beneath the radar.” We also suspect that some of them have hurt kids here in Georgia and one or more of them may still be here, posing current threats to unsuspecting families, neighbors and co-workers.
That’s why we are urging Georgia citizens to help protect kids from these and other molesters, by pushing for a House Bill 17, the Georgia Hidden Predators Bill. This law would prevent more child sex crimes by enabling more victims to expose more predators. It would give anyone who was abused at any time by any predator to use the court system, over a two year period, to warn parents and the public about those who commit and conceal child molesters.
And we are urging Georgia’s religious leaders – including its two Catholic bishops - to push for this sorely-needed child safety measure too. All too often, church figures fight against stronger child safety laws, fearing more abuse and cover up lawsuits. But if religious officials haven’t hidden child sex crimes and act responsibly when abuse is suspected or uncovered, they have nothing to fear from this legislation.
Virtually none of these six predator priests we’ve uncovered have attracted any real attention in the Atlanta area. Virtually any of them could have hurt a Georgia kid. And again, one or two of them could be back here in Atlanta right now visiting former parishioners and assaulting one of their children.
At the risk of seeming too graphic, I want to stress that it takes just seconds for a man to put his tongue in a girl’s mouth or his hands down a boy’s pants.
Until we found these new names, there were at least eight already publicly accused predator priests in Georgia – six the Atlanta archdiocese (Fr. Clarence Biggers, Fr. Philip S. Gage, Fr. Stanley D. Idziak, Fr. Anton Mowat, Fr. Alberto Rodriguez and Fr. Louis P. Rogge) and two in the Savannah diocese (Fr. Wayland Yoder Brown and Fr. Robert Murphy.)
Thanks to brave victims and responsible journalists, police and prosecutors, many in the public are aware of these eight dangerous men. But again, few in Georgia know much, or anything at all, about the six names we’re revealing today. We strongly suspect there are many more child molesting clerics about whom the public should be warned and who are still being hidden by Georgia Catholic officials.
We beg every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Georgia to speak up, expose wrongdoers, protect others, deter cover ups, start healing and prod lawmakers about the Georgia Hidden Predators Bill.
We especially beg those with information or knowledge about clergy crimes and cover ups to step forward. We beg every church official to get behind the Georgia Hidden Predators Bill.
And we call on Georgia Catholic officials - given their denomination’s painfully widespread, well documented and continuing abuse and cover up crisis – to push for this legislation.
And until it passes, we beg Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory and Savannah Bishop Gregory Hartmayer to post on their websites and in their church bulletins the names, photos and work histories of every child molesting cleric who lives/lived in Georgia, for the safety of children and the healing of victims.
( Roughly 30 US bishops have done this in their own dioceses:
The predator priests who were in Atlanta – and whom few, if anyone, in Georgia know about - include: Fr. Charles G. Coyle, Fr. Charles Arnold Bartles, Fr. William Groves, Fr. Jonathan W. Franklin, Fr. Anthony Jablonowski and Fr. Michael Keating. (Photos of Jablonowski and Keating are available at BishopAccountability.org.)
Here are details about each:
--Fr. Charles G. Coyle, a Jesuit who was suspended and is accused of molesting at least two boys and spent time in Boston MA, Houston TX, Mobile AL, New Orleans LA and Baltimore MD. (He was in Atlanta from 1991-1995 at Ignatius House.)
--Fr. Charles Arnold Bartles, a Jesuit who worked in Kansas, Florida, Alaska, Louisiana, Jamaica and Brazil and was, in 2010, accused of molesting at least one child. (He was at in Atlanta the Marist School, with about 700 students, from 1972-78.)
--Fr. Jonathan Franklin, a Benedictine who committed suicide before his criminal trial on charges of sexually assaulting 12 year old boy. (He worked in Savannah, Atlanta, Florida and Louisiana.)
--Fr. Anthony “Tony” Jablonowski who worked or lived in Arizona, Florida and Ohio and pleaded no contest to 2004 charges of abusing of a teenager and was required to register as sex offender. (He worked at St. Mark’s Catholic church in Clarksville, Georgia in the Atlanta archdiocese.)
-- Fr. Robert D. Huneke, who faces at least three child sex abuse reports and was included in a grand jury investigation report in New York. (Around 2002, he worked as a high school guidance counselor in Atlanta at the Marist school.)
--Fr. William Groves who is now at a church despite having pled guilty to felony abuse of a boy and allegedly sheltering “runaway Indian and Hispanic kids and giving them drugs and alcohol.”(He received sex abuse counseling at a center in Atlanta in the 1990s, according to the Denver Post.)
He’s now vice treasurer at the Spiritual Light Center in Franklin, North Carolina, 828-369-3065 and can be reached at [email protected] and 828 371 6803. Center board members include Arthur Cataldo [email protected], Dr. Millard Deutsch [email protected], Jim & Luci Swanson [email protected], Kay Smith [email protected]
NOTE- Atlanta’s Archbishop Wilton Gregory has a less than stellar history with child sexual abuse cases. Consider these five examples.
-- In 2004, just two years after the Dallas bishops’ meeting, he was found in contempt of court for withholding evidence in a child sex abuse trialhttp://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2004_01_06/2004_05_02_BellevilleNewsDemocrat_BellevilleDiocese.htm
--Members of the bishops’ own hand-picked abuse panel said he was guilty of "backsliding" on many of the child safety measures in the 2002 Dallas Charter for the protection of Children and Young People. Board members also claim that they were intentionally manipulated by Gregory and other bishops. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2004_01_06/2004_05_11_Feuerherd_ReviewBoard.htm
--Gregory was the face of the 2002 Dallas Charter, a charter that has been proven to be completely ineffective at protecting children. In fact, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was found to be compliant in 2010, just months before the grand jury found 37 perpetrators in ministry. http://www.usccb.org/ocyp/annual-report-2010.pdf
--He was accused of shielding and hiding a priest who had been accused of abuse and then refused a court order to turn over the secret records of that predator priest. The predator abused at least 5 kids, impregnating one of them. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2008/07_08/2008_08_05_Pawlaczyk_JuryWill.htm
--In court testimony, Gregory claimed that as bishop of Belleville, he was "kept in the dark" about sex abuse happening under his watch.http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2008/07_08/2008_08_26_Pawlaczyk_ArchbishopGregory.htm
Here’s why we think reforming the dangerously restrictive and archaic statute of limitations is the single most effective step we can take to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.
History, psychology and common sense indicate that civil "windows" helps prevent future abuse in at least four ways:
1) Prevention through exposing predators.
The "window" enables victims to publicly expose the predators who hurt them, through the open, impartial, time-tested American judicial system, so that parents, neighbors and employers will know about potentially dangerous men and women.
2) Prevention through exposing enablers.
Through the balanced judicial process - depositions, discovery, interrogatories and sworn testimony - anyone who ignored a sex crime, shielded a molester, destroyed a document or deceived a victim’s family may also be exposed.
Georgia families deserve to know whether their pastor or day care center director or athletic association harbored a sex offender, stonewalled a prosecutor, or lied to a parent.
Georgia citizens deserve to know whether a diocese or a summer camp director knowingly hired child molesters.
3) Deterrence through court disclosures.
Without the "window," a supervisor who’s been lax about child safety has no incentive to change bad habits or work harder.
With the "window decision-makers will know that if they insensitively shun a victim or recklessly endanger a child, they may be exposed in court and face consequences for having done so.
4) Deterrence through financial consequences.
Passage of the "window" will prod defense lawyers, public relations staff and others to beef up child sex abuse prevention and education.
Concerned employees will start asking their supervisors "Do we do background checks on everyone here?" and "Are we ready for a potential lawsuit?"
Smart organizations will start or expand efforts to train adults about reporting abuse and teach kids about "safe touch," knowing that
- victims are less inclined to sue an institution that seems to take abuse seriously,
- judges and juries are more lenient with institutions that are already addressing the problem which led to a lawsuit.
This "window" makes Georgia kids safer, now and in the future.
(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 SNAPnetwork.org)