MN- Judge blocks release of child sex abuse files, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,

A Minnesota judge has granted the Diocese of Duluth’s request to block the release of internal church documents relating to a clergy abuse lawsuit. We are disappointed by this action. Releasing information about predator priests and complacent officials helps keep children safe.

Judge David Johnson says he granted the church’s order to keep the jury pool as uncontaminated as possible. The judge later recused himself.

This lawsuit involves two priests who allegedly sexually abused children and the Duluth Diocese. Releasing these kinds of documents are almost always necessary for public safety. When parents are given complete information about child abusers and complacent officials they can make informed decisions about the safety of their children.

So the burden again falls on victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to help expose clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Duluth. We beg everyone with information or suspicions about child molesting clerics to search their consciences, find some strength and speak up so kids are protected. And we beg people to call secular authorities, not church officials.

We are glad the judge left open the possibility that the files can be released at a later date. We hope that happens sooner rather than later.

(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

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, Frank Meuers of Plymouth (952-334-5180, Verne Wagner (218-340-1277,

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