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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

New Clergy Sex Abuse & Cover Up Lawsuit Filed Against Archdiocese of Miami

Predator Priest Is Publicly Accused for the First Time

Alleged Crimes Took Place At St. John the Baptist, Then Located at Prestigious Catholic High School

At a sidewalk news conference, a new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit will be disclosed and discussed. It names a now-deceased prominent Archdiocese of Miami priest who is being publicly accused for the first time as a child molester.

TODAY, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 1:00 PM

On the public sidewalk outside of St. John the Baptist parish, in Ft. Lauderdale

(4595 Bayview Drive, intersection of Bayview and NE 46th St.)

The plaintiff, along with his attorney, JEFFREY HERMAN, who has represented hundreds of child sex abuse victims, and a Missouri man who is the long time executive director of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

According to a new lawsuit filed today, FR. THOMAS A. DENNEHY repeatedly sexually assaulted a young altar boy at St. John the Baptist parish in the late 1960s, where DENNEHY was pastor. During that time, DENNEHY was also the Superintendent at Cardinal Gibbons High School, where the St. John the Baptist parish met until the church building was completed in 1969.

Willard Trent was the victim of frequent sexual assaults by DENNEHY as a child between approximately 1967 and 1968 while serving as DENNEHY’s altar boy. The abuse consisted of masturbation, oral sex, and sodomy. As part of the abuse, DENNEHY made Trent dress in girl’s clothing. In this regard, DENNEHY made Trent dress in a girl’s uniform from Cardinal Gibbons High School and then sodomized him. According to the suit, Trent repressed all memories of the abuse until 2009, when he returned to St. John the Baptist and a conversation with a priest triggered his memories.

DENNEHY worked in the Miami archdiocese for 35 years. In addition to Cardinal Gibbons H.S., he worked at Christopher Columbus H.S., Archbishop Curley H.S., St. John’s Preparatory School, St. John Vianney H.S. Seminary, and St. Brendan High School. DENNEHY also served as the Asst. Director of the Archdiocese’s Catholic Youth Organization for a period of time. He was ordained in 1958 in Ireland. He retired in 1993 and died in 1999 in Miami.

Trent is now 55 years old. He is unmarried and lives in the Ft. Lauderdale area.

Willard Trent v. Archdiocese of Miami was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on Tuesday morning. Copies of the Complaint and a childhood photo of Mr. Trent will be available at the news conference.

According to a Boston-based research organization called, there are 32 proven, admitted or credibly accused Miami archdiocesan predator priests.

Attorney Jeffrey Herman 305 931 2200; 305 409 7371 cell; [email protected]
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director 314 566 9790, [email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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