For immediate release: Wednesday, May 27
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
We are grateful that Nordonia Hills school board president James Virost resigned today and we hope that Fr. Ralph Wiatrowsky of St. Barnabas will soon be disciplined. Both men wrote a judge essentially urging a lighter sentence for a convicted child sex offender (former Nordonia Hills school board President Steve Bittel). They should be ashamed of themselves.
School and church officials should always put the safety of their kids above the wishes of their friends. Helping sex offenders get shorter sentences is reckless and hurtful. When officials write letters urging lighter punishments for sex offenders, they are being selfish and short-sighted and they rub even more salt into the already deep and usually still fresh wounds of victims and their loved ones.
We hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Bittel's crimes will call law enforcement. And we hope that those who care about kids will keep pressuring Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon to publicly and harshly discipline Fr. Wiatrowsky for his irresponsible actions in this case.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has 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 SNAPnetwork.org
Nordonia Hills school board president resigns
By Mike O'Mara, WKYC-TV 6:52 p.m. EDT May 26, 2015
NORTHFIELD, Ohio -- James Virost, school board president of the Nordonia Hills City School District, resigned this morning at the beginning of a special board meeting slated to discuss an upcoming school levy.
Virost had become the target of angry parents after he wrote a letter to the Summit County judge prior to the sentencing of former school board president, Steve Bittel. Bittel was sent to prison for 14 years after admitting to have child porn on his home computer. Although his letter never asked for any leniency for Bittel, Virost later admitted that . . .