Letters List


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Letters

Letter to
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy


April 6, 2006

Dear Ms. Worthy:

We are clergy sex abuse victims and members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Our goal is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.

We are very upset about your decision to not retry Father Edward Olszewski, a convicted sex offender.

We urge you to:
-- reconsider your decision to not retry an him,
-- work harder to prosecute other clergy sexual predators in the future, and
-- publicly urge other abuse victims to come forward and assure them you'll pursue their cases vigorously.

According to Wednesday's Detroit Free Press, "charges were dismissed Tuesday against Father Edward Olszewski after the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office decided not to retry the Catholic priest. A December ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court overturned his 2002 conviction for allegedly abusing a youngster at St. Cecilia parish in Detroit in the 1970s."

SNAP is very disappointed in your decision. We believe it will intimidate other victims and witnesses into remaining silent, and should be re-considered.

We understand that Olszewski had served most or all of his sentence. We also understand that our office has limited resources.

But we also understand several other key facts.
1) It's very tough for abuse victims to come forward.
2) It's even tougher when they see their perpetrator receiving light sentences.
3) It's even tougher when they see those sentences overturned on legal technicalities.
4) And it's even tougher when they don't see that predator re-tried.
5) There is no magic age at which child molesters are suddenly cured.
6) Thus, Olszewkski is likely still dangerous.
7) And he may come back to Michigan to live or visit.

The bottom line is that we fear your decision may well discourage others who were molested and still suffer in shame and self-blame from coming forward, getting the help they need, and reporting the crimes to law enforcement so that other kids will be safeguarded.

We urge you to do everything in your power to warn your constituents about Olszewski and his past, so that he might be denied more access to unsuspecting families in the future.

We are also upset that Olszewski's attorney, James Thomas, claims the priest is now "vindicated." We hope you will use your 'bully pulpit' as a prominent law enforcement professional to educate and remind the public that overturning a conviction on a legal technicality does not in any way constitute a "vindication."

Finally, we hope you will publicly urge anyone else who witnessed, suspected or experienced Olszewski's crimes to call the police, so that he might be prosecuted again and locked up so that kids are protected.

David Clohessy
National Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
7234 Arsenal Street
Saint Louis, MO 63143
314 645 5915, 314 566 9790 cell

Barbara Blaine
President and Founder, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
700 N. Green, Suite 504
Chicago, IL 60622
312 399 4747

Bill McAlary
Detroit SNAP Director
248 705 3416

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests