The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Baltimore Priest Pleads Guilty


November 8, 2005

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis,
National director of SNAP,

"Today, in a Baltimore County, MD, courtroom, former Catholic priest Jerome F. Toohey pled guilty to child sex abuse.

Toohey had already been defrocked by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1993, after credible allegations were made that Toohey had molested a male student while Toohey was employed at John Carroll School in Belair, MD.

The abuse that led to today’s trial took place during the Eighties, when the victim was a student at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, MD, where Toohey worked as a chaplain.

We are grateful that citizens will again be warned about and hopefully protected from a clearly dangerous man. We hope that Toohey will spend considerable time behind bars but we worry, that between now and his sentencing in February, he might flee the country.

We are grateful to Toohey's victim, who had the courage and wisdom to pursue criminal charges against him. It's always hard for a victim of a sex crime to come forward. It's even harder when one's perpetrator is a trusted Catholic cleric. So we praise him for his strength, his bravery, and his commitment to protecting other vulnerable youngsters
from a serial predator.

Today's court action may, we hope, provide some comfort and healing to all of Toohey's victims. At the same time, however, we urge them to stay in therapy, self-help groups, recovery programs, and to realize that even Toohey's criminal conviction won't suddenly or magically ameliorate the suffering that his victims continue to experience.

We also urge others who were hurt by Toohey to come forward and get the help and healing they deserve, and others who witnessed or suspected his crimes to contact law enforcement, so he might be further prosecuted."


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests