New Orleans Priest Accused of Abusing a Ten-Year-Old Boy has now Filed a Defamation Suit Against his Accuser
A priest accused who in January was accused of raping a ten-year-old child in 2008 has now filed a defamation lawsuit against his accuser. We hope that this lawsuit is quickly tossed and that church officials in New Orleans will stand in support of the victim in the case and use every resource at their disposal to encourage other victims to come forward and make a report.
If Fr. John Asare-Dankwah is confident that the claim against him is false, we believe he should meet the allegation in open court. Instead, we think that his decision to counter sue is an attempt to both intimidate the current victim and frighten others into coming forward. Victims are often disbelieved which is why we at SNAP support them when they come forward, but the fact of the matter is false claims of rape are extraordinarily rare. Statistically, it is more likely that this victim is telling the truth than they are lying.
We have seen alleged abusers try this tactic in the past. Typically these defamation suits are quickly thrown out and we hope and expect that to be the case here. Still, despite the history, we are sure that there are some victims – whether of this priest or any other – who may now choose not to come forward and make a report out of fear of being sued. That is the dangerous message being sent by this lawsuit and we hope church officials in New Orleans come out against this move by their priest and in support of the victim who has filed their claim.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)