LA- Accused religious brother should not be allowed on school grounds
For immediate release: Monday, September 08, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])
A Louisiana Catholic brother, who is credibly accused of molesting at least 10 children, has been found going to a school campus. We are grateful that this information has been revealed so that parents can make safe choices for their children.
Bro. Samuel Martinez visits the Holy Family Community on the campus of John Paul The Great Academy on weekends. We are highly suspicious of the claim that he is allegedly monitored by an adult at all times. He belongs in a remote, secure treatment center run by independent professionals, not church officials.
However, David Sinitiere, the head of Martinez’s order, said that since Martinez was never convicted in court the rules about sex offenders being near children don’t apply. This is a dangerous statement. The order found the allegations against Martinez credible; they should treat him with the same caution as a criminally convicted sex offender. Predators rarely stop abusing, no matter how many years have passed since the first allegation.
We urge officials at the John Paul the Great Academy and the Brothers of Christians Schools to do the right thing and keep a credibly accused serial child molester away from children. And they should aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered child abuse to come forward, report to police and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years 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)