The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Sex abuse victims respond to
murderous priest's legal victory

For immediate release:
Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007

Statement by Claudia Vercellotti, Co-Director, Toledo SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (419 350 9234)

It's sad but not surprising when a convicted murderer exploits a legal technicality to avoid justice. What's sadder though, is that time after time, Ohio's Catholic bishops keep exploiting the same legal technicality in child molestation cases.
Despite this legal travesty, Fr. Gerald Robinson (a Toledo Catholic Diocesan priest) can do no more harm to kids. He remains behind bars. But when bishops take advantage of the archaic statute of limitations, serial child sexual predators often keep hurting kids again and again.

There have been cases where civil litigation has led to criminal prosecution. There have been criminal cases re-opened, because a courageous victim of sexual abuse spoke up and reported these heinous sexual crimes, from years ago, to police and prosecutors. Case in point: the criminal case against Robinson which was re-opened and actively investigated after "Jane Doe" through SNAP, turned over documents to the Ohio Attorney General who in turn, coordinated efforts with the local prosecutor.

However, because Catholic bishops repeatedly exploit legal loopholes, hundreds of dangerous child predators walk free in our communities, secretly preying upon vulnerable, innocent kids.

Who knows what else might have come out of the civil case had Survivor Doe been allowed to take her case to court? If the Bishops really believed in Fr. Robinson's innocence, why didn't they stand down and not use an expired statute of limitations defense? Why wouldn't Bishop Blair want the truth to come out?

It's difficult to imagine, Jesus saying, "Let's use Sunday's collection offerings to buy pricey lawyers to bury the truth in legal technicalities at the expense of innocent kids, healing and justice."





Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests