SNAP: “Help us get alleged abuser out of classroom”
Victims appeal to Bridgeport bishop
“He’s left 15 priests off his accused list,” they say, “including 11 who taught at Fairfield Prep."
SNAP: “Help us get alleged abuser out of classroom”
Despite settlement paid, ex-CT cleric now teaches school in NJ. CT’s 5-yr Statute of Limitations prevented criminal charges.
Group says Catholic officials must “beat the bushes” to find more victims
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose names and information about 15 publicly and credibly accused child molesting clerics who worked in and around Bridgeport but have been left off the list published by the Bridgeport diocese.
They will also challenge Bridgeport’s bishop to
--add these 15 names to his official ‘accused’ list,
--include photos, whereabouts and work histories of ALL accused clerics, and
--help education officials oust a former Bridgeport predator priest who is now a teacher.
Monday May 13 at noon
On the sidewalk in front of the Catholic Center, 238 Jewett Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
Two-three SNAP Survivors and supporters
1) Just over a week ago, a New Jersey media outlet disclosed that education officials lost their bid to oust teacher Joseph Michael DeShan, who as a Bridgeport, CT diocesan priest abused and impregnated a teenage girl in a church youth group in 1989. The abuse allegedly started when she was 14, according to news reports in Connecticut newspapers.
Defrocked in 1999, he’s been teaching in Cinnaminson NJ since 2002 (though he was temporarily put on leave twice). No criminal charges could be brought because of CT’s Statute of Limitations. A civil lawsuit against him was settled in 2003.
For the safety of kids, SNAP is urging Catholic officials in both Connecticut and New Jersey to use pulpit announcements, church bulletins, parish websites and other resources to “aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered DeShan’s crimes, so he might be charged, convicted and kept away from kids.”
“If he is accused by others, he’ll at least be suspended and kids will be less vulnerable,” SNAP says.
DeShan earns $85,624 a year as a 6th grade reading teacher, according to state records.
2) In 2015, the Bridgeport diocese posted a list of credibly accused abusive clerics which was recently updated with additional names. But SNAP has discovered and is disclosing 15 more names that were not included in the update.
One priest faces several allegations, and the rest were deemed “credibly accused abusers” by church supervisors. SNAP urges Bishop Caggiano to warn the public.
PUBLICLY ACCUSED BRIDGEPORT PREDATOR PRIESTS, some of whom are “whereabouts unknown."
--Fr. Robert Post faces multiple allegations, one from a student at Blessed Sacrament HS in New Rochelle, NY, where he was the principal. In 1965, Fr. Post belonged to the (Irish) Congregation of Christian Brothers and in 1982 was ordained a priest in Bridgeport. He worked in Canada, Italy, New York and at least six Connecticut towns (Bethel, Darien, Stamford, Bridgeport, Norwalk and Danbury). As of 2016, Fr. Post may be living at the Keefe Queen of the Clergy Retired Priests’ Residence, Stamford,CT
The following men are all Jesuits who are on the religious order’s Dec. 2018 official ‘credibly accused’ list of abusers:
--Fr. William B. Cahill worked in Michigan, Maine, Massachusetts and in Pomfret, CT. He was at Fairfield Prep, 1947-49. He died in 1986 after a 43-year career.
--Fr. Robert Cornigans, who worked from 1976-1978 at Boston College High School in Boston and from 1979-1980 at Fairfield Prep in Fairfield. His whereabouts are unknown.
--Fr. William Cullen, who worked in three Massachusetts towns (Boston, Fall River and Charlestown) and two Connecticut towns (from 2000-2005 at St. Thomas More in Oakdale, from 1979-1988 at Fairfield University and from 1989-1990 at Fairfield Prep). He died in 2010.
-Father Joseph Dooley, worked at Fairfield Prep, 1951-54, and at high schools in Boston and Maine. He also worked in a parish on the island of Jamaica. He died in 1983.
-Fr. Francis Ennis, who spent time in at least three Massachusetts towns and in three Florida town towns. In 1965-1966, he was at Fairfield Prep. He died in 1985.
-Fr. Joseph Fox, who worked in three Massachusetts towns (Chestnut Hill, Boston and Worcester) and from 1943-1945 at Manresa in Norwalk. He died in 1988.
--Fr. Joseph Laughlin, who worked in Maine, at least four Massachusetts towns (Boston Athol, Middleboro and Lakeville) and from 1951-1952 at Fairfield Prep. He died in 2013.
--Fr. Philip Moriarity, who worked in three Massachusetts towns (Boston, Fall River and Concord) and from 1951-1953 at Fairfield Prep in Fairfield. He died in 1974.
--Fr. George McCabe, who worked in four Massachusetts towns and from 1957-1960 at Fairfield University and from 1960-1965 in Ridgefield CT.
--Fr. Eugene J. O’Brien was principal of Fordham Prep, 1960-80 and of Fairfield Prep, 1983-85. He also worked in Pomfret CT, and in MD, NJ, DC, and NY.
In 1997, the Jesuits, the New York archdiocese, and Fordham Prep settled for $25,000 a suit alleging that O'Brien sexually abused a boy in the early 1970s. He died in 2019.
-Father Leo Pollard worked at Fairfield Prep, 1945-50, and at high schools in several Massachusetts towns between 1941 and 1997. He died in 1999.
-Father Edmund Power worked only at Fairfield Prep, 1962-65 and 68-76. He died in 1976.
-Father James Pratt worked at Fairfield Prep, 1981-82, and in NY, MA, TN and Italy. His whereabouts are unknown.
-Father James T. Sheehan worked at Fairfield Prep in Fairfield, CT 1953-56 and at high schools in MA. He admitted abusing a minor. He died in 2008.
Contact: Gail Howard, SNAP Connecticut ([email protected], 203-644-0387), Beth McCabe, SNAP Connecticut ([email protected], 860-335-8187), 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 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)