The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Monday, November 8, 2010
Lake Worth, Florida ex-priest accused of sexual battery to be evaluated for
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])
If Doherty is deemed competent, he belongs behind bars, period. Enough of the 'restrictions.' He's broken them eight times and deserves no more special favors or consideration.
We'd be skeptical of claims that Doherty is incompetent. We've seen many cases in which shrewd child predators feign ailments and dementia when in fact, they're still quite healthy. Remember, most child molesters are very cunning and manipulative, and work very hard to come across as harmless.
(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 SNAPnetwork.org)
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])
Lake Worth ex-priest accused of sexual battery to be evaluated for
A retired priest who is facing sexual battery charges will be evaluated by a psychologist after officials say he violated the terms of his pretrial release numerous times.
Neil Doherty, 67, of Lake Worth, was put back in jail last week while authorities determine his competency.
He was arrested in 2006 and charged with sexual battery and other offenses after a man alleged that, while the man was a child in the 1990s, the former priest had molested, drugged and raped him over the course of seven years.
Doherty had been free on bail and under house arrest, with electronic monitoring, while awaiting trial. But he left his home for at least 17 minutes last month, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. Doherty told authorities he was attending a funeral when the GPS monitor lost contact, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.
During a hearing Monday, a pretrial release officer said that when Doherty was disconnected from his GPS tracking system last month, it was the eighth time.
"Anybody else would be in jail," Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes said. "What concerns me are the violations in the past and the defendant's age. There may be something there."
Holmes ordered forensic psychologist Dr. Michael Brannon to evaluate Doherty immediately, and will review those findings during a Nov. 10 hearing.
"If he's competent, I'll feel comfortable setting some restrictions that are rather strict," Holmes said.
Doherty retired from the priesthood in 2002 after serving at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Margate.
Staff writer Sofia Santana contributed to this report.
Linda Trischitta can be reached at [email protected] or 954-356-4233.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests