The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Conviction of Baltimore Priest

February 17, 2005

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis 314 566 9790
National Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

"We are relieved and grateful. Vulnerable adults and innocent children will be safer because of this wise decision.

We hope that Mr. Stokes, his family and loved ones feel some vindication and peace with this action.

We also hope that others who were hurt by Blackwell find the strength and courage that Mr. Stokes found, and will come forward and get the help they need and deserve.

We hope that the judge will lock up Blackwell for a long time. That's the only way to ensure that he doesn't rape another innocent child or vulnerable adult.

There is no magic age at which child molesters suddenly become "cured." So despite Blackwell's age, the only prudent assumption is that he's still a danger to others.

He may seem elderly, frail or even contrite. But his physical prowess or emotional state isn't what matters. What matters is the safety of innocent people. For their sake, Blackwell needs to be behind bars.

Sadly, some view jailing molesters as vengeance. Most see it as prudent. We see it as crucial, if more pain is to be avoided. It's the only way to ensure that predators don't rape others.

David Clohessy of St. Louis (314) 566-9790 cell
Barbara Blaine of Chicago (312) 399 4747 cell
Mark Serrano, SNAP Board Member 703 727 4940 cell, 703 771 9606
Peter Isely, SNAP Board Member 414 429 7259 cell, 414 963 8617


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests