Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ex-Priest and Alleged Pedophile Neil Doherty Back in Jail

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, [email protected])

We’re grateful that Doherty is behind bars, for whatever reason or length of time. He’s one of Miami’s most dangerous and prolific predator priests. If not for the fact that his crimes against children had been so effectively concealed for years by Miami’s church hierarchy, Doherty would have been jailed long ago.

We strongly suspect there are others who’ve been assaulted by Doherty who have yet to come forward and get help. For their healing, and for the safety of others, who hope they’ll speak up, get help, start recovering, and contact police.

We hope today’s news will prod anyone who saw, suspected or suffered Doherty’s crimes to call law enforcement so that he might be more effectively prosecuted and kept away from children for a long time.

(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 10,000 members. 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

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])

Ex-Priest and Alleged Pedophile Neil Doherty Back in Jail
By Brandon K. Thorp, Wed., Nov. 3 2010 @ 12:22PM

​Father Neil Doherty -- whose long, sordid story was recounted in a 2008 New Times cover story -- was arrested last night in Palm Beach County. Doherty is an alleged serial abuser of children who has been walking free while awaiting trial since his 2006 arrest. Police apprehended Doherty because he "failed to comply with pretrial-release conditions," according to State Attorney's Office spokesman Ron Ishoy. Just how Doherty failed to comply is unknown; according to Ishoy, he may have left the area unlawfully or initiated contact with his victims, among other infractions.

In 2005, the parents of "John Doe" -- who, in our story, was referred to as "Sam" -- brought a civil suit against Doherty and the Archdiocese of Miami. The specifics of the complaint are horrific. "Doe" was befriended at age 9 by Father Doherty after the two met when Doe was playing in a field beside the priest's church, St. Vincent's, in Margate. Doe plied the boy with cigarettes and liquor and drugged him with Qualuudes -- early in their friendship, Doe passed out on Doherty's couch and awoke with a bleeding anus, according to the suit.

Father Doherty allegedly continued plying the boy with booze and drugs throughout his adolescence, and when Doe developed behavioral problems in high school, Father Doherty kept him out of trouble and recommended that Doe receive counseling -- from Father Doherty.

All of Father Doherty's alleged victims reported similar treatment, and there were many such victims -- Doe's civil suit against Doherty and the archdiocese was one of four, all of which have been settled. Yet long before any suits were filed and even before Father Doherty began grooming John Doe, the archdiocese had good reason to believe Doherty was a sexual predator. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Doherty turned a blind eye or even facilitated drug use among the young residents of a halfway house in 1971, and it is known that Doherty spent much of the early '70s sharing a bedroom with an adolescent male. The archdiocese received letters from parishioners concerned about the situation, and rather than investigating those letters, the archdiocese assigned Doherty to St. Anthony's Church in Victoria Park in Fort Lauderdale, giving Doherty access to the several hundred children and adolescents attending St. Anthony's School next door.

There, Doherty met several of the boys who would later claim to be his victims. His relationships with those boys would lead to further complaints lodged with the archdiocese, which led to further archbishop indifference; Doherty allegedly finished off the '70s cruising Biscayne Boulevard "in his priestly collar, reaching out to boys allegedly for sex under the guise of ministry," according to CBS4. By the time Doherty was assigned to St. Vincent's in Margate, all of those in a position to do something about the Father's predations had decided to ignore them.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests