MD- Catholic librarian should be fired, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Friday, April 04, 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 Baltimore teacher has been arrested for sexually abusing one of her current students. We urge Catholic officials to fire and denounce - not just suspend - the librarian who kept silent about these crimes for weeks and discipline two Catholic officials who are calling these crimes "a relationship." 

They are wrong and callous to do so. It's misleading and hurtful to call child sex crimes "a relationship." That implies equality and consent that cannot exist between an adult and a child, especially between a teacher and a student.

Baltimore Archbishop William Lori's spokesman used that insensitive and inaccurate phrase in a radio interview. And school president Fr. Joseph Benicewicz did the same in a letter to parents.

These are well-educated church officials who have considerable experience handing child sex crimes. They know better. But they deliberately choose to use misleading and minimizing language that rubs more salt into the wounds of child sex abuse victims. Shame on them. They should be punished.

Finally, Lori's spokesman claims church officials are "doing everything” they can in this situation. That's not true either. Catholic officials say this often but evidence shows they largely do the bare minimum.

Lori should personally visit the school, urging students, staff and parents to disclose any suspicions or information they may have to law enforcement. He should post the teacher's name, face and work history on his archdiocesan website with the same plea, prodding victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers to contact secular authorities, not church officials. 

We are grateful for law enforcement for getting this dangerous teacher away from kids. And we hope this victim's family will help police and prosecutors charge and convict Lynette Trotta and anyone else at Archbishop Curley High School who may have ignored or concealed her crimes.

(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 15,000 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 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])

Showing 4 comments

  • Rick Wonders
    commented 2014-07-11 17:54:29 -0500
    Came across this post after reading an email from Baltimore Archbishop William Lori informing us that the administration of Archbishop Curley High School has been replaced. I am sure the writer has no ties to the school or the Baltimore area. I am equally certain he made no effort to contact anyone directly either from the school, the Baltimore City Police Department, or the Baltimore Archdiocese. It appears all his information came from the WBAL-TV news story, and an email sent to parents of students at Archbishop Curley.

    I guess this makes it easier to sit in judgment. My son graduated from Curley in 2011. and attended the school as a student in 1969. My wife and I were very involved at the school. We know the administration and the staff well. Whether or not this tirade had any impact on ruining the careers of the school’s president and principal is debatable, but I am sure it did not help.

    The fact is, that this was a relationship between a 33 year old female teacher and a 17 year old boy; not a priest and a victim under the age of 15. Father Joe was correct in not referring to the young man as a victim. A 17 year old boy is not a child. I have no way of knowing your thought process at 17, but for me personally at that age, I would have been insulted. And while you may find this next statement abhorrent, having sex with one of my female teachers at that age would not have scarred me for life.

    Furthermore, you are basing your article on the assumption that the young man gave the police an accurate portrait of what happened. If you even bothered to look at the charging documents, it is very obvious the facts are slanted to cast a favorable light on the “victim.” This is what charging documents, like grand juries do, they only tell one side of the story. To find out what really happened, you will have to wait until Aug. 9. That is when Mrs. Trotta gets her day in court. By then, this story might change, though it seems your mind is made up.

    While I have no inside information on whether the charges muster merit or not, your characterization of Mrs. Trotta is at the least reckless, and at its worst borderline defamatory. She has not yet been convicted in the eyes of the law. And whether you want to accept this premise or not, the law ultimately trumps any thoughts about this case you may have.
  • Hugh Kinsey
    commented 2014-04-04 16:12:37 -0500
    Goodman did breach protocol by not reporting the rumor, from a high school student, (emphasis rumor and high school student), that the student had inappropriate sexual contact with another teacher; Trotta. In no report is it said what Goodman thought about this inappropriate contact, only that she did not follow protocol correctly. She may be disciplined for breach of protocol, but to call for her firing and make up facts/feelings is ignorant.
  • Samuel Ross
    commented 2014-04-04 13:15:19 -0500
    The reasons for the Goodman’s delay are her own, it does not say in either article that she had thought that the two were in a relationship. She just happened to do the right thing at the wrong time and there is no reason why she should get fired for that.
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