Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Friday, May 7, 2010

Court delays Morning Star trial pending review; sex abuse victims respond

Statement by David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790)

We’re sad that Mr. Minehart’s day in court is delayed because of this judge’s awful ruling.

If an Al Qaeda operative were on trial, would this judge insist that testimony be so severely restricted and that evidence of other wrong doing by Al Qaeda members be concealed?

Every predator’s dream is to have a ruling like this, which isolates dozens of child sex crimes into arbitrary, isolated incidents, so that a long history of depravity and destruction remains hidden from jurors, judges and the public.

We hope Mr. Minehart wins his appeal and is able to have a full trial to expose the crimes and cover ups at Morning Star Boys Ranch.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members across the globe. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contacts: David Clohessy (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Mark Serrano (703-727-4940), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314 503 0003)

May 6, 2010

Court delays Morning Star trial pending review

Kevin Graman The Spokesman-Review

A lawsuit against Morning Star Boys’ Ranch by a former resident who claims to have been abused there has been stayed by the state Court of Appeals while that court hears a motion to review a ruling limiting testimony in the trial.

Attorneys for George H. Minehart II, a former resident of the ranch, appealed Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor’s decision to limit the testimony of other former residents, most of whom have filed their own cases against Morning Star.

O’Connor would allow only the testimony of those witnesses who had reported abuse at the time of the alleged incident because such testimony might support allegations that ranch administrators knew or should have known of sexual abuse at the Spokane home for troubled boys and did nothing to stop it.

Lawsuits by 19 former residents – many of whom name the ranch’s former director, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, as their abuser – have been separated into individual trials. In February, a unanimous jury found against the first plaintiff, Kenneth Putnam.

The Minehart case was scheduled to begin this past Monday , and delayed a week pending appeal. Now it will be delayed indefinitely until the higher court rules on the motion. If a three-judge panel of the Appeals Court decides to review O’Connor’s ruling, it could have a significant impact on all the remaining cases.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests