Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement


For immediate release
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

SNAP statement on the pre-trial hearing of Dan Clark

Ann Brentwood of Knoxville, SNAP Southeast Regional Director 865 607 6119 (contact person)

Sex Abuse Victims Want Pedophile Priest Kept Away from Children

Court Hearing Will Be Held in Shepherdsville (Bullitt County) Tomorrow

It Concerns Once Convicted Molester Who’s Getting A New Trial

Support Group Praises Prosecutors For Trying Again To Prosecute Predator

SNAP Urges Anyone Who "Saw, Suspected or Suffered" Clark's Crimes to Come Forward

Leaders of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims are hoping that a sexually abusive Louisville Catholic priest will move one step closer to prosecution tomorrow when a pre-trial court hearing is held on his case in Shepherdsville.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, wants former cleric Daniel C. Clark to be locked up after a retrial. His child molestation conviction was overturned in May by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

“We support the courageous victims who have once again come forward in another attempt to have this predator removed from any opportunity to continue abusing children,” said Ann Brentwood of Knoxville, SNAP Southeastern Regional Director.

“We know their brave efforts to find justice often subject them to brutal hard ball tactics of church attorneys. We applaud them for their strength and also the Commonwealth Attorney, Mike Mann, who continues to seek the protection of children.”

On Wednesday, a few SNAP volunteers plan to attend the hearing.

Nineteen victims sued Clark and the Louisville archdiocese in civil cases. Clark was defrocked in 2004.

“This is clearly a serial pedophile who needs to be behind bars,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s National Director. “The bishop should use his vast resources - church websites, parish bulletins, and pulpit announcements - to prod anyone who saw, suspected or suffered Clark's crimes to contact law enforcement immediately.”

“It is imperative that Clark be strictly monitored and constantly supervised or children will not be safe,” Brentwood emphasized. “We expect and strongly urge Archbishop Kurtz to support all efforts to have this predator added to the registry of offenders and to see that he is kept from access to children.”

SNAP strongly encourages anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes, by Clark, or any other priest, to contact police officials.

Kentucky Justices Overturn Priest's Abuse Conviction
The Courier-Journal [Kentucky] May 24, 2007

The Kentucky Supreme Court today overturned the conviction of a former Roman Catholic priest who was convicted in 2003 of sexually abusing two Bullitt County boys.

Daniel C. Clark has served nearly four years of a 10-year sentence for his conviction on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of the two boys.

In a 5-2 decision, the court ordered the case remanded to Bullitt Circuit Court for a new trial.

Clark contended in his appeal that he deserved a new trial, claiming the trial judge gave improper jury instructions, allowed testimony that he should have excluded and excluded evidence that he should have allowed.

Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert and justices John D. Minton Jr., William E. McAnulty Jr., Mary C. Noble and Wil Schroder concurred with the decision. Justices Will T. Scott and Bill Cunningham dissented.

The Supreme Court agreed with two of Clark's arguments.

The court said Bullitt Circuit Judge Thomas Waller's instructions to the jury were "seriously flawed" because he did not give the jury the option of considering a charge of second-degree sexual abuse on the older boy, who turned 12 years old during the time the alleged sexual abuse took place. The type of abuse Clark is accused of is considered second-degree sexual abuse on children 12 and younger.

The court also said Waller erred in allowing a previous victim of Clark, whose case led to an earlier conviction of the priest, to testify in this trial. The court said allowing this testimony was "prejudicial."

The court disagreed with Clark's contention that the trial judge improperly kept out a videotape of the alleged victims being interviewed.

Clark, 59, who was removed from the priesthood in 2004, was one of the clerics at the center of the sexual-abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Louisville. Of four priests in the archdiocese who were convicted, Clark was the only one to bring an appeal to the state's highest court.

Clark was accused in 19 lawsuits against the archdiocese — including one filed by the Bullitt County boys' mother on their behalf. The archdiocese eventually settled all the cases.

Check back for further updates and read more in Friday's Courier-Journal.

Reporter Peter Smith can be reached at (502) 582-4469.

For more information:
Ann Brentwood of Knoxville, SNAP Southeast Regional Director 865 607 6119 (contact person)
David Clohessy of St. Louis SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests