New lawsuit says current pastor is a child molester

New lawsuit says current pastor is a child molester

As a young boy, victim wrote top church official about him

Cleric has been publicly accused of abuse three times before

Still, he heads a parish right now & has never been suspended

SNAP: “It’s one of the most egregiously mishandled cases ever

Victims challenge new St. Louis archbishop to “oust the priest now

SNAP also wants Rozanski to “protect kids by reading every abuse report

And it urges him to “do more to warn parents about most dangerous dozen

“Rozanski must add religious order abusers to official archdiocesan list,” group says

WHAT

Wearing masks and socially distancing while holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a few clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will

---announce a new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against a priest who is still a pastor now despite three earlier abuse reports from men who don’t know one another,

---beg St. Louis’ new archbishop to immediately suspend the cleric, and

---lay out three specific steps the new archbishop should take now to help protect kids.

WHEN

Monday, Aug. 24 at 1:15 p.m.

WHERE

On the sidewalk outside the “new” cathedral, 4431 Lindell Blvd, (corner of Newstead) in the Central West End in St. Louis

WHO

Three-four adults who were sexually abused as kids and belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY

1----For the safety of kids, SNAP wants incoming Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski to

** add dozens of religious order predator priests who molested and/or worked in St. Louis but are not the archdiocesan ‘credibly accused’ list,

** aggressively warn parents, police and the public about the SNAP’s “Most Dangerous Dozen” credibly accused child molesting clerics who walk free in and around St. Louis”, and

** personally read every single accused cleric’s file and make sure all cases are being handled properly.

This is crucial because when abuse cases arise, new bishops often claim they weren’t told about earlier reports. In his last diocese, Rozanski recently admitted “chronic mishandling” of a case against one of his predecessors. “In almost every instance we have failed this courageous (victim),” Rozanski said, but only after he was prodded to re-examine the case by journalists and victims.

https://www.gazettenet.com/Velis-issues-report-to-Catholic-Diocese-of-Springfield-34909176

(SNAP’s “Most Dangerous Dozen” accused abusers includes Fr. James Beine, Fr. William Anthony Christensen, Fr. Juan Carlos Duran, Fr. James Gummersbach, Fr. Bryan Kuchar, Fr. Michael McGrath, Fr. Joseph D. Ross, Fr. Leroy Valentine, Fr. Gary Wolken, Fr. Robert Yim and Fr. Dennis Zacheis.) https://www.snapnetwork.org/group_predicts_archbishop_will_retire_next_month

2----A lawsuit charges that a currently serving St. Louis pastor molested a boy at an orphanage here. It’s the fourth time Fr. Alex Anderson has been publicly accused of abuse. Yet he remains on the job in a parish today in the archdiocese.

And has never even been suspended, despite an 18 year old national Catholic church policy mandating such a move in abuse cases.

“In the 30 years we’ve followed this crisis, the case of Fr. Anderson is among the most egregiously reckless we’ve ever seen,” says SNAP’s David Clohessy.

In 2002, archdiocesan officials publicly admitted that Fr. Anderson was accused of abusing a boy.They claim the accuser recanted.

That same year, archdiocesan officials publicly revealed that Fr. Anderson had been accused of abusing a second boy.

With the approval of his church superiors, Fr. Anderson then sued the second boy for slander, insisting on a retraction, an apology and other measures. That second boy then countersued.

https://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/27/us/accuser-of-priest-sued-for-defamation-responds-with-a-countersuit.html

In 2004, a third accuser reported his abuse by Fr. Anderson to a church panel. The panel deemed his report “not credible” with no public explanation of why.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2004_01_06/2004_01_17_Lhotka_ActivistsWill.htm

Later in 2004, the archdiocese gave the second boy a settlement of $22,500. Then, the lawsuits between Fr. Anderson and the second boy were dropped. (Fr. Anderson did not get the retraction, apology or other conditions he claimed he would insist on before settling.)

Now, a FOURTH man, identified as John Doe, charges that Fr. Anderson molested him  at the same orphanage, St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in south St. Louis city. (It closed in 2001.)

Randles is in touch with a fifth man who also accuses Fr. Anderson of abuse. He is not filing a lawsuit nor has he reported to church officials.

All of the accusers say they were sexually violated by Fr. Anderson in the 1980s.

Doe filed ‘pro se’ and has overcome one motion by church lawyers to have the case tossed out. Rebecca Randles (816 510 2704 cell, 816 931 9901, rebecca@randlesmatalaw.com) became his attorney and re-filed the case last Friday in the Eastern District Federal Court in St. Louis, with additional documentation.

In the filing is a letter, described by SNAP as ‘moving,’ that the victim wrote as a boy, at his mom’s request, to the then-St. Louis archbishop reporting his abuse.

The plaintiff is a former Missourian who is now in prison for stolen property.

Fr. Anderson heads St. Rose of Lima parish in DeSoto.https://www.archstl.org/archdiocese-settles-sexabuse-suits-3261

Fr. Anderson’s worked at St. Pius in St. Louis (1979), St. Blaise in Maryland Heights (1980), Immaculate Heart of Mary in St. Louis (1980-1981), St. Simon's in Concord Village (1981-1983), St. Joseph's Home for Boys (1983-1988), St. Andrew's in Lemay (1988-1992), Assumption in Mattese (1993) and Sacred Heart in Eureka (2008). He was sent to the much-smaller DeSoto church in 2008.

http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Anderson_Alexander_R.htm

As best SNAP can tell, each place Fr. Anderson worked has or had a parochial school.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news3/1999_03_02_Bryant_JuryHits_James_Gummersbach_4.htm

Photos of Anderson are at BishopAccountability.org

Randles, of Kansas City, has handled dozens of child sex abuse cases. In 1999, she took the only Missouri predator priest case to a jury. It was against St. Louis’ Fr. James Gummersbach. Randles won $1.2 million but it was later overturned when a court ruled the victim’s statute of limitations has expired.

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news3/1999_03_02_Bryant_JuryHits_James_Gummersbach_4.htm

(Note: There are now 201 publicly identified proven, admitted or credibly accused predator priests in Missouri. More than half of them – 105 – are in the St. Louis Archdiocese. See BishopAccountability.org)

CONTACT

David Clohessy 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Doug Lay 314 646 9316


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