RI--Report on abuse/cover up at RI school; Victims respond

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home,[email protected] 

Our hearts ache for the dozens and dozens of girls and boys who were assaulted at St. George’s school for decades and for the dozens and dozens of adults who were deceived and betrayed and re-victimized by secretive, self-serving school staff who chose to put their careers and reputations above the safety of kids, the healing of victims and the prevention of crimes.

We hope this report prods Rhode Island lawmakers to reform the state’s archaic child safety laws, especially the arbitrary, unfair and predator-friendly statute of limitations.

We suspect this report radically underestimates both the amount of pain that’s been inflected on the innocent and the complicity of school staff. Phrases like “the school failed” are, we believe, sanitized. “Failure” suggests a good faith effort that went awry. That’s not what happened here, we believe. Repeated, deliberate and selfish decisions were made, over decades, to hide crimes and shield predators and endanger kids, for the sake of boosting enrollment and donations and careers.

There may be tiny, sad silver lining in all of this. All too often, well-to-do parents assume that child molesters prey largely on kids from lower income families and adults in stable marriages assume that child molesters go after kids from “broken” homes. Neither are true. Predators usually make no distinctions. They’ll target whichever kids they have access too, even if the kids are bright, wealthy or well-loved.

No matter what school officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups – especially in private institutions - to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

(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 22,000 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)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])


Investigator finds 61 alumni were victims of sexual abuse at St. George's School

By Karen Lee Ziner – Providence Journal Staff Writer, Sep. 1, 2016 

Independent investigator Martin F. Murphy on Thursday morning released his much-anticipated report on systemic sexual abuse at St. George's School in Middletown, dating to the 1960s.

Prior to the report's release, lawyers Eric MacLeish and Carmen L. Durso, who received the report earlier this week, released details, and their reactions.

They said Murphy identified 61 alumni who had been victims of sexual abuse at St. George’s — 51 victims of faculty and staff who worked at the school.

Murphy, partner at the law firm of Foley Hoag in Boston, was hired in late January to . . .

Read full article here

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