SNAP applauds the powerful impact statement as a Former Franciscan Friar is sentenced in Ohio

A former Franciscan friar, David Morrier, received five years’ probation and to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life on sex crimes that took place when he was at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

According to reports, Morrier was a Franciscan friar assigned to the university back in 2010. He is accused of committing sex crimes against the young woman between 2010 and 2013. The acts were done in the name of religion and took place in a confessional, in a room in the Finnegan Fieldhouse, chapels, and Morrier's office, and included acts termed exorcism under church law.

We stand in solidarity and loudly applaud the brave woman who confronted her abuser, face to face, in the court of law and powerfully delivered a victim’s impact statement directly to her abuser. "I've lost the last 12 years of my life to him, the third-order regular Franciscans and Franciscan university,” the victim said in court Friday. While we would rather see a more punitive sentence for these crimes, we are grateful that this predator will be known for life as a sex offender and follow every rule and regulation under those terms beginning today.

To us, the strength and fortitude displayed by the victim will certainly help others who have been assaulted by persons in authority and encourage them to come forward, report the crime to law enforcement and get the help needed. We are in awe of the power she took back today.

We find it downright disgusting that Franciscan University officials played judge and jury by deciding to protect reputations and shield a predator rather than care for a student, a victim of a sexual assault crime. Instead, the abusive shepherd received the care.

Judge Bruzzese ordered Morrier to register before sundown instead of the customary three-day grace period. "By the way, I have to say that is the most powerful victim impact statement I have ever heard,” the judge said.

CONTACT: Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Regional Leader, (636-433-2511, [email protected]),  Mike McDonnell, Communications Manager, (267-261-0578, [email protected])  Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])

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