NOLA prosecutors present disturbing evidence during the arraignment of a former Jesuit who worked in California; SNAP urges immediate outreach to potential victims
More information was revealed yesterday in a New Orleans courtroom regarding the arrest of a former Catholic clergyman, Stephen Sauer. Jefferson Parish detectives disclosed that they had been able to identify five victims from the pictures the ex-Jesuit had taken of their driver's licenses. Sauer had nude photos of the sleeping men in sexual poses, and the victims confirmed to law enforcement that they had not consented to this activity. In addition, during the execution of the search warrant, deputies found sleeping aids, syringes, condoms, and other incriminating items. There was enough evidence to arrest Sauer on the spot. If the ex-Jesuit can post bail he will be required to be on house arrest.
Sauer worked at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles from 2008 to 2010 and at the University of San Francisco from 2013 to 2016. In the media statement we issued on Wednesday, we listed the charges filed against Sauer and a history of where he had worked during his career, urging outreach by all the organizations and institutions that had employed the former Catholic priest to alert any potential victims. Today, we commend the no doubt shocked and disturbed victims for cooperating with the investigation and renewing our call for outreach.
This is still an open inquiry. Due to a large number of graphic images discovered, we believe that this will eventually translate into many, many more victims going back for decades. In addition to the places where we know Sauer was employed in California, he was a sought-after speaker and theologian, so he may have victims across the state. Moreover, since Jesuits often live in communal housing, Sauer may have also victimized members of his former religious order.
Loyola Marymount, the University of San Francisco, and the Western Jesuit Province must alert employees, alumni, and members of the order to the serious nature of the charges against Sauer. In addition to those three entities, the Archdioceses of Los Angeles and San Francisco and the other ten California Diocese should reveal to parishioners and the public what they know about the former Jesuit's time in California: where he lived, where he visited, and whether he also had pastoral relationships with local churches.
While the revelation that they have been betrayed by a trusted clergyman may be extremely painful to any other victims, we believe that each and every one of them deserves to know the truth.
CONTACT: Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Dan McNevin, SNAP Treasurer ([email protected], 415-341-6417) Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager, (267-261-0578, [email protected] ), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)