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Michigan lawmakers renew effort to give sex abuse victims more time to sue

LANSING (MI)Associated Press [New York NY] June 6, 2023 By Joey Cappelletti Michigan lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would give victims of sexual abuse more time to sue for damages as the state again looks to overhaul laws following multiple sexual abuse scandals. The legislation, which appeared before a committee Tuesday afternoon, would expand the civil statute of limitations for sex abuse victims from age 28 to 52. If enacted, victims would also have a two-year window to sue retroactively, regardless of the time limit. The new measures would allow victims of the late Dr. Robert Anderson at the University of Michigan and others additional time to bring lawsuits that have previously been barred by the statute of limitations. Government entities could not use the immunity defense if they knew or should have known of an accused’s prior sexual misconduct and failed to intervene. In 2018, Michigan increased the statute of limitations to 28 years old following the conviction of Larry Nassar, who sexually abused hundreds of female athletes under the guise of medical treatment, including at Michigan State University. Advocates say the time limit still denies delayed justice for many victims who often keep trauma to themselves, citing research that shows many victims don’t come forward until their 50s. Vermont, Maine and Maryland have removed the statute of limitations for child sex crime lawsuits.

SNAP Media Events

SNAP to hold Sidewalk Press Conference in Baltimore

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will speak about the new revelations that
identify many of the redactions that were made in the Attorney Genera’s report on the Child Sexual
Abuse in the Archdiocese of Maryland

WHAT: A sidewalk news conference, abuse survivors and advocates who are part of SNAP, the Survivors
Network of those Abused by Priests, will speak about the information revealed by the two major
newspapers in Baltimore. We know that several of the officials were completely complicit in
covering up and enabling abusers.

WHEN: Monday, May 8th at 11:30 am

WHERE: In front of the Archdiocese of Baltimore office, 320 Cathedral St. Baltimore, MD 21201
WHO: 7-10 abuse survivors and advocates, including the Maryland SNAP Leader David Lorenz, who
wants to see church officials remove any and all priests who knowingly mislead victims or enabled
abusers to continue harming children by their actions or lack of action.

SNAP writes abusers names on sidewalk

SNAP writes abusers names on sidewalk

Victims group wants five more predators exposed

Group says they should be listed on church website

Four of them are alive; three likely still live in this area

SNAP blasts bishop: “Your secrecy is endangering kids

Diocese now has almost 50 publicly accused clergy molesters

Victim Survivors and Advocates Applaud Maryland Attorney General Report and Passage of Child Victims Act

(Media Advisory for April 7, 2023) 

  • Victims applaud the release of the Maryland Attorney General Report
  • They also announce the passage of the Child Victim’s Act (CVA)
  • Demand that the Church add the 30 new names in the AG to their list and stop using hair-splitting distinctions to avoid being transparent
  • Demand that the Church provide the assignment history, last known location, and employment of perpetrators listed in the AG report
  • Demand that the Church stop fighting the constitutionality of the CVA


WHAT: Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will announce the passage of the CVA along with the release of the scathing Attorney General report.  ,

-- Demand that the Archdiocese explain their recklessness and continued secrecy in not listing the 30 newly named perpetrators.

-- Celebrate the passage of the CVA and look forward to having it signed by the Governor of Maryland.

-- Demand that the Archdiocese of Baltimore provides work and assignment history for each of the perps listed in the report, their last known location as well      as whether they know if the perp is still living.

-- Demand that the dioceses of Washington DC and Wilmington, DE publicly release the information that they have given to the AG. 

WHEN: Friday, April 7th at 11:00 AM. 




(Media Advisory For February 15, 2023)



What: A coalition of Texas survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) will gather in solidarity at the Capitol to educate legislators and their constituents about the need for SOL reform, giving voice to all survivors in the name of justice and healing.

When: Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 9:00 am to 11:00

Where: South Steps of the Capitol, 1100 Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas.

Who: Texas leaders and members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests SNAP); President and members of Survivors of Child Sex Abuse (SCSA); President and members of, SexAbuseRegistry,; Texas CSA survivors and their supporters and advocates. Speakers will include Rep. Ann Johnson, Texas House Member Dist. 134; Dr. Amy Kemter, San Antonio Psychotherapist who works with abuse survivors; Michael Johnson, 28-year veteran, retired law enforcement child sexual abuse investigator, and former director of Youth Protection for the national headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America and Whistleblower; Mr. Joe Alarcon, Kanakuk Youth Camp Survivor Advocate; as well as several child sex abuse survivors.

Why: HB 206,1 filed by Rep. Ann Johnson, and SB 751,2 filed by Senator Pete Flores, permanently eliminate the civil statutes of limitations (SOL) allowing survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) to take legal action against predators, and the institutions who enabled them. It is retroactive, reviving previously expired SOLs. These SOL bills protect our community by exposing hidden predators. They empower survivors--no matter how long ago their abuse occurred--to speak out and get the healing support they need.

Victims to leaflet at SLU; Two new predator priests outed

(For Release February 13, 2023) 

Two predator priests just 'outed' at SLU
SNAP writes names of 12+ accused clerics on sidewalk
University refuses to reveal & post a list of abusers, group says
SNAP will leaflet students warning of other accused SLU molesters
Group asks SLU to do "real outreach" to possible victims, witnesses
WHAT: Handing out leaflets and holding signs, clergy abuse victims will warn St. Louis University students and staff about 
--two credibly accused abusers who were 'outed' just days ago, and
--a seminarian who allegedly raped, assaulted, and spread defamatory rumors about a young man in 2019. The accused now attends SLU and faces a recently filed civil lawsuit.
They will also
--use chalk to write names of a dozen or more predator priests who worked or lived at the school on the sidewalk, and 
--urge SLU officials to post on their website the names of credibly accused child molesting clerics (like most dioceses and many Catholic institutions do) and actively help law enforcement by aggressively seeking other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers in the most recent case.
Monday, Feb. 13, at 1:30 p.m.
On the sidewalk in the 200 block of North Grand near St. Francis Xavier 'College' Church  (on the campus of St. Louis University) in St. Louis MO
Four-six members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a St. Louis man who is the group's former longtime national director.
Late Friday, St. Louis University disclosed that two priests who worked there have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse. One of them, Fr. David V. Meconi, was at SLU as recently as 2021. He directed the university's Catholic Studies center, and allegedly abused between 2015-2016.
The other is Fr. Daniel Campbell (deceased), a faculty member in the late 1950s.
SNAP wants the university to provide many more details about these and other proven, admitted or credibly accused clerics who are or were at SLU. The group also wants SLU president Fred Pestello and his staff to aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Merconi. Since his alleged wrongdoing was recent, he might be prosecuted and kept away from other vulnerable people, SNAP believes.
In recent years, SNAP members handed out leaflets on the SLU campus prodding university officials to post on their website the names of credibly accused child molesting clerics (like the archdiocese does). Their leaflets named these priests who have been publicly accused of abuse and have lived or worked at SLU. (Everyone has been 'outed' and deemed 'credibly accused' of abuse by church or secular authorities and written about in mainstream media sources.)
They are Fr. Walter P. Buetzler, Fr. David C Bayne, Fr. Franklyn W. Becker, Fr. Edward F. Beutner, Fr. Floyd A. Brey, Fr. Vincent W. Bryce, Fr. John J. “Jack” Campbell, Fr. James A. Condon, Fr. Juan Carlos Duran, Fr. Paul A. Frey, Fr. Chester E. Gaiter, Fr. James F. Gates, Fr. John Harrington, Fr. Gerhardt B. Lehkmuhl, Fr. Jerold W. Lindner, Fr. Eugene Maio, Fr. Charles H. Miller, Fr. John N. Morfin, Fr. James Glenn Murray, Fr. Thomas J. Naughton, Fr. James V. O’Connor, Fr. George M. Pieper, Fr. John Slowey, Br. Richard H. Witzofsky,  seminarian Francis J. Kegel and former SLU president Daniel O’Connell (who was sued by two former women who say he assaulted them when they were young, vulnerable students).
SNAP feels that for the safety of innocent kids and vulnerable adult, these names should be permanently and prominently posted on the SLU website.
NOTE: Last year, SNAP warned the SLU community about a credibly accused abusive seminarian from Tennessee who is now a SLU student. For details, see The Pillar or these links:
David Clohessy, SNAP Leader Missouri (314-566-9790, [email protected])

Survivors and Advocates in DRC call for Zero Tolerance for Clergy Sex Abuse


MEDIA ALERT (page 4 en français)

[For Immediate Release, January 25, 2023; ]


Current Clergy Sex Abuse Cases in DRC Exposed


Historic Press Conference to be held on Eve of Pope’s visit to the DRC on Clergy Sex Abuse


Clergy sex abuse victims in Kinshasa call on Pope to help


Survivors and Advocates in DRC call for Zero Tolerance for Clergy Sex Abuse


For the first time in Africa, international activists will join with Congolese survivors and advocates in a press conference to highlight the failure of the Catholic Church to protect survivors and whistleblowers. 


Pope Francis will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo the week of January 31 to February 3, 2023. On Monday January 30, survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their advocates from the Congo, U.S. and Europe will be in Kinshasa to hold a press conference in order to:


  1. Share information regarding a current case of clergy sex abuse and cover-up in the DRC, including details on how the victim and her family have been silenced and the harm done to her advocates.  The victim and a witness are scheduled to testify by Zoom during the press conference.
  2. Expose corruption within the DRC judicial system that has benefitted church officials and perpetrators at the expense of the abused; 
  3. Insist Pope Francis enforce his recently enacted "apostolic letter"  by immediately removing and sanctioning abusive priests and their bishop enablers to send an important message to the continent of Africa that there is zero tolerance for clergy sex abuse and coverup.



Survivors and Advocates urge others to step forward as New California law has opened a window to justice for those sexually assaulted as adults



Media Advisory

(For Immediate Release January 25, 2023) 



New California law has opened a window to justice for those sexually assaulted as adults

Survivors and advocates will gather at the State Capitol today to call attention to AB 2777

Whether the abuse occurred in a religious institution or elsewhere, SNAP urges victims to take advantage of this opportunity

WHAT: At a sidewalk news conference, abuse survivors and advocates who are part of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will gather to draw public attention to The Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act (Assembly Bill 2777), which went into effect on January 1st. SNAP will urge those who were the victims of sexual assault as adults to consider filing civil lawsuits for damages against those who abused them and the institutions that covered up for the perpetrators.

WHEN: January 26, 2023, at 1 PM

WHERE: California State Capitol, 1315 10th St (between L and N Streets), Sacramento. We will gather on the lawn to the left of the steps.

'Victims back reform bill & seek predators' names'

(For Immediate Release January 19, 2023) 


Victims back reform bill & seek predators' names

They blast ex-Kansas AG for 'weak, vague' report

Group files "Open Records Act" request to publicly ID abusers

Survivors want more time to 'seek justice & expose molesters.’



Holding signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will ask the Kansas attorney general to protect kids by:

--publicly naming dozens of unknown child molesting clerics recently investigated by the KBI, and
--releasing the full abuse report, not just a 21-page summary.

They will also give out copies of an Open Records Act request they're sending to the new AG to learn the identities of those 'who committed or concealed child sex crimes' and blast his predecessor for issuing a "weak, vague and short abuse report" that "protects wrongdoers, not children."


Friday, Jan. 20 at 1:15 p.m.


On the sidewalk outside the Johnson County Courthouse on Santa Fe Street (north of the administration building and west of city hall) in Olathe Kansas


One-two Kansas state legislators, a former Kansas cleric, a Kansas abuse survivor who testified before a panel in Topeka, and three-four abuse survivors (some who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)


1) Earlier this month, then-AG Derek Schmidt refused to publicly name even one proven, admitted, or credibly accused child molesting Catholic cleric when he released what SNAP calls a "short, weak and vague" report into the church's ongoing abuse crisis. (Other state AGs across the country have done far more thorough reports and disclosed names of abusers.)

SNAP is asking Schmidt's successor Kris Kobach to voluntarily reveal the names of dozens of Kansas Catholic clergy who have perpetrated, ignored, or hid child sex crimes and release a longer, more detailed report that 'will deter other institutions from similar cover-ups.'
And the group is filing a formal Open Records Act request for the names.

2) The victims strongly support a measure, now pending in the Kansas legislature, that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to "expose those who commit or conceal crimes against kids" in civil courts. It is sponsored by Sen. Cindy Holscher (D-Overland Park) and Rep. Bob Lewis (R-Garden City) and relaxes the state's "archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly" statute of limitations, SNAP says, which both "helps protect vulnerable children and heal wounded adults."

CONTACT: David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected], Tom White  913 927 2859, [email protected]

(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


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Child Porn Priest Pleads Guilty; SNAP Reacts

(For Immediate Release June 9, 2023) 

Fr. James Jackson, a Rhode Island priest previously assigned to St. Mary's Church in Providence, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Rhode Island to receiving child pornography, admitting to a federal judge that he downloaded files of child sexual abuse using a peer-to-peer file-sharing network, according to United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

According to information presented to the court, in September 2021, an East Providence Detective assigned to the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force identified an IP address assigned to the rectory at St. Mary’s Church that was being utilized to share files of child sexual abuse material.

A court-authorized search of a computer and digital device located in a church rectory bedroom utilized by Father Jackson was found to contain images and videos of child sexual abuse, including multiple images involving prepubescent females, some of which involved acts of bestiality and sadomasochism. A forensic audit of the devices subsequently identified over 12,000 images and 1,300 videos of child pornography.

Jackson was arrested again for allegedly violating the conditions of his release while in Kansas in July 2022.

To us, viewing or sharing child pornography is not a crime without any victims. Sadly, the innocent lives in film and pictures many never realize their trauma until much later in life. We hope Jackson faces a stiff sentence and is completely removed from the clerical state and under federal supervision for a long time.

Federal authorities need to keep this dangerous man under close watch and those charged with his supervision should never believe that Jackson has repented to sin no more. You can take the actor away from the scene of crimes, but as we have seen many times over in cases involving delict priests, they’ll never stop, there is no cure.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager, (267-261-0578, [email protected]) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President, (814-341-8386, [email protected])

Registered sex offender remained an Orthodox Archpriest: SNAP appalled at this incomprehensible decision

(For Immediate Release June 8, 2023) 

A recently deceased Archpriest in the Diocese of the South (DOS), Orthodox Church in America (OCA), apparently continued bear the title of “archpriest,” despite being a registered sex offender. We are absolutely shocked that Archpriest Benjamin Henderson, who was convicted of possessing child pornography, was never defrocked.

We have written to the late Fr. Henderson’s hierarch, Archbishop Alexander Golitzin, asking him to explain how such a travesty came about, despite evidence that the DOS was at least aware that the priest had been charged with this heinous crime. A copy of the letter is linked below.

Child pornography is NOT a victimless crime. The images of the very real boys and girls who appear in the photos and videos are traded and used indefinitely, leading to a lifetime of victimization. Moreover, studies have shown a strong correlation between those downloading these disturbing images and those who abuse children themselves. At least 50 percent of those who consume such material also admit to child sexual abuse.

Accordingly, we urge the DOS and the OCA to not only give a complete and transparent public account as to why Archpriest Henderson was never defrocked, but also to do outreach to every parish where the clergyman worked, begging anyone who may have experienced abuse by him to come forward and get help. Finally, we believe that the DOS and the OCA should also directly notify any other Orthodox jurisdictions or religious institutions where Archpriest Henderson previously worked of his conviction, so that those groups can do the same outreach.

CONTACT: Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175),  Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Shaun Dougherty, President, SNAP Board of Directors ([email protected], 814- 341-8386), Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is


Catholic Educator Under Investigation in California; SNAP Responds

(For Immediate Release June 8, 2023) 

According to a report from NBC Bay Area, an adult altar server at an Oakland Catholic church, who also worked as a theology teacher at Marin Catholic High School, is being investigated by the Oakland police. The educator, Jonathan Chavez, is accused of sending inappropriate electronic communications of a sexual nature to an underage altar server at the parish. According to the Diocese of Oakland, the crime was reported to them by the child's parents on April 19, 2023, and the Diocese reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) the same day. The Diocese also contacted Marin Catholic High School on the 19th, informing administrators there of the accusations.

We commend this family for taking the initiative to report Mr. Chavez. However, we are troubled that the Oakland Diocese did not immediately call law enforcement. CPS is not there to investigate crimes, and although this particular report ultimately found its way to the police, there was no reason to take this extra step. We are also troubled that the Diocese waited nearly a month before informing the parents of the other altar servers at the church, as well as its parishioners, of the accusations.


Virginia Attorney General Secures Conviction of Former Priest; SNAP responds

(For Immediate Release June 7, 2023) 

Richmond, VA -- Attorney General Jason Miyares today announced that Scott Asalone, a former priest of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Purcellville, Va., was sentenced by a Loudon County Circuit Court Judge to an eight-year prison term for carnal knowledge of a 14-year-old child. 

The sexual abuse occurred in 1985 when Asalone, now 66, was 29 and the victim was 14. In addition to the sentence handed down by the Court, Asalone is required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life and to have no contact with the victim.

This example plainly proves that victims can heal and do not have to suffer in shame and secrecy. No matter how long ago the abuse occurred, it is still significant to investigators and us. The victim's bravery aided in the prosecution of a predator and the removal of filth from society. Jason Miyares, the Attorney General of Virginia, deserves our thanks. Thank you also to the Virginia State Police and the Major Crimes Unit for their outstanding work on this case.

Buffalo Priest Placed Back in Ministry Despite Substantiated Allegations

(For Immediate Release June 1, 2023) 

A Catholic priest from the Diocese of Buffalo has been returned to ministry despite a "substantiated" accusation that he had a sexual relationship with an adult woman. This decision by Bishop Michael W. Fisher causes us grave concern.

The Bishop acknowledged that an investigation by the  Independent Review Board determined that it was "substantiated" that Father F. Patrick Melfi engaged in a sexual relationship with an adult female in 2007. However, Bishop Fisher went on to say that based on the circumstances of this relationship, Father Melfi’s response to the investigation, and his faithful behavior since the relationship ended, the IRB recommended, and Bishop Fisher determined, that Fr. Melfi should be returned to ministry.

Placing Fr. Melfi back on the job with so little information about the circumstances of the accusation makes us uneasy.  Pope Francis has changed Church law to explicitly criminalize the sexual abuse of adults by priests. With this new understanding, accusations of a "relationship" between a cleric and an adult can no longer be so easily dismissed. 

Nancy Fratianni, a SNAP Leader who works with survivors who were abused by clergy as adults, shared her thoughts, “Meanwhile the true victim is often ostracized, or further victimized and even asked to leave their job, their parish, and what once was their support system. Returning a priest to service after the fact is encouraging future abuse of vulnerable people."

SNAP Leader Dorothy Small, who works with Nancy, added, "The priest is placed back in active ministry where he has access to supply with minimal supervision or accountability.  Priests make vows of chastity and celibacy and operate in power differentials that make consent between equal powers impossible, that includes adults. The Church minimizes the language used for abuse of adults as 'inappropriate' relationships and boundary violations. It’s an abuse of spiritual power and authority."

We recognize that we have limited information about the accusation. However, in our 35 years of expertise, we find it unlikely that this is Fr. Melfi's only such "relationship" in his 17-year career. Church officials are doing a disservice to parishioners by not fleshing out the particulars of the accusation. Did the woman attend Fr. Melfi's church and/or was she employed there? In secular culture, a supervisor who faced similar claims in the workplace could be fired and might have difficulties finding another position. We do not believe that the Church should be any less scrupulous in protecting those who walk through their doors, even if they are over the age of majority.

Fr. Melfi, who worked as a temporary administrator for Our Lady of the Angels Church in Cuba and St. Patrick's Church in Belfast and Fillmore, was placed on leave in December 2022, after the accusation was made public. The priest, who was ordained in 2006, only a year before the time of the accusation, was also a parish vicar at St. Christopher's Parish in Tonawanda. In addition, he formerly worked as pastor and rector of St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, as well as pastor of St. John's Roman Catholic Church.

We encourage everyone, which includes adults, who have experienced sexual contact by a Catholic cleric to reach out to trusted professionals and to groups like ours for help and support. If someone believes a crime has been committed, they should also contact law enforcement. 

Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

Catholic Priest Charged with Assaulting an 8yr-old in Canada; SNAP reacts

(For Immediate Release May 31, 2023) 

A Catholic priest has been charged with sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl in Little Grand Rapids First Nation, and Manitoba Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) believe that there may be additional victims. Our hearts go out to this very young child.

We cannot help but think of her innocence as she describes the horror inflicted on her to the police. We hope that she is receiving much-needed support and assistance from family members and trusted professionals. We also hope that this example will motivate more survivors and witnesses to come forward and report the incident to authorities. We call on Archbishop Albert LeGatt to do aggressive outreach to all the communities where this priest worked and encourage anyone with information to immediately report what they know to law enforcement.



SNAP urges California Attorney General to release findings on Catholic sex abuse in the state

(For Immediate Release May 31, 2023) 

Early on May 31st the President and Treasurer of SNAP's Board of Directors, Shaun Dougherty and Dan McNevin, and Melanie Sakoda, SNAP's Survivor Support Coordinator, emailed California Attorney General Rob Bonta, urging him to release a report, or at least a preliminary report, on his findings on Catholic sex abuse in the state. SNAP feels very strongly that such a report is crucial at this juncture, as two Catholic dioceses have already declared bankruptcy in the wake of the civil window that closed at the end of 2022, and at least two others are considering it. We also believe that this tactic is not just to avoid paying restitution to the victims that Catholic cover-ups created, but also, and perhaps even more importantly, to curtail the public release of information on the extent of abuse and its cover-up in Catholic California.
There is a more complete explanation of our reasoning in the letter, which is set forth in its entirety below. While we know that bankruptcy is a federal procedure, we believe that the release of the information the Attorney General has collected since an investigation began three years ago would remove one of the incentives for California dioceses to choose this option. Similar reports have recently been released in Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
We hope that Attorney General Bonta will seriously consider our request. Dan and Melanie are available to meet with him or members of his staff to share more about the research we reference in the letter.
SNAP looks forward to receiving a positive response from Attorney General Bonta, and to sharing the results of our deep dive into what is already publicly known about Catholic sexual abuse in Northern California, as well as additional information gleaned from the cases that were filed during the three year civil window.

Contact: Dan McNevin, SNAP Treasurer ([email protected], 415-341-6417), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Shaun Dougherty, President, SNAP Board of Directors ([email protected],  814- 341-8386), 

Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578),  Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

Multi-page Letter Below 


Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, returned to ministry in 2003, is accused in six civil actions

For immediate release: May 30, 2023
Last week a very disturbing piece by NBC Bay Area revealed that a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, returned to ministry in 2003, is accused in six civil actions filed in the recently closed civil window for child sex abuse victims. Concerned survivor Danielle Lacampagne brought her accusations against Fr. Daniel Carter to the Archdiocese in 2002, and followed it up with a police report, and a lawsuit. Despite her best efforts, the priest continued to work in San Francisco parishes for another two decades.
We are not surprised that the Review Board found Danielle's accusations "unfounded." In our experience "Independent" Review Boards routinely dismiss victims' complaints, particularly if they are only aware of one complaint and the cleric denies the accusation. These Boards are picked by and work for their bishop. They also base their decisions on information supplied to them by that bishop.
Other Diocesan Review Boards have "cleared" accused clergymen only to have additional accusations uncovered later. One California example is the case of Fr. Eric Swearingen. Like Fr. Carter, Fr. Swearingen was placed on leave briefly in the early 2000s after he was accused of child sexual abuse in a lawsuit. However, the Diocese subsequently deemed the allegation "not credible," and Fr. Swearingen was allowed to return to ministry. In 2019, Fr. Swearingen was again placed on leave, reportedly based on information that was uncovered during the course of the lawsuit. Ultimately Fr. Swearingen was added to Fresno's list of accused priests.


Former Dubuque Priest Faces Second Allegation of Abuse

(For Immediate Release May 25, 2023) 

An accusation of child sexual abuse against a Florida Catholic priest has been recently deemed to carry a "semblance of truth," by the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The cleric, Fr. Leo P. Riley, worked in 16 Iowa parishes following his ordination in 1982. He was transferred to the Diocese of Venice in 2002.

While the current complaint about Fr. Riley was apparently received on May 5th of this year, another accusation was brought to the Archdiocese of Dubuque in 2014.  That victim filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese the following year. The Archdiocesan Review Board initially deemed that accusation as “not manifestly false or frivolous.” (Page 5) However, several months later Archbishop Michael O. Jackels announced that his investigation did not find the complaint to be true and Fr. Riley resumed working in a parish in Florida.


Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul Releases Clergy Investigation Report; SNAP Reacts

(For Immediate Release May 23, 2023) 

On Friday afternoon, all six of Illinois’ Catholic dioceses sent out a sudden press statement, written in concert, that describes the policies and procedures each institution has in place to protect children from abuse. With today’s news, we now know why those Church leaders felt the need to remind parents and parishioners about these policies – because thanks to the work of the investigators at the Illinois Attorney General’s office, it is now apparent to us that those policies are weak, vague, and rarely followed.

In a stunning report, A.G. Kwame Raoul’s office has described the ways that Catholic leaders in every diocese in the state have acted in concert to protect abusive priests, to keep the public from learning about those crimes, and to push back on survivors and their loved ones who came forward in hopes of preventing other cases of abuse

According to the report, more than 450 priests have abused nearly 2000 children in Illinois since 1950. These numbers are at once staggering and, unfortunately, likely an undercount.


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