The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Monday, December 13, 2010
Predator priest case goes to TN Supreme Court
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected])
It's sad to see a religious figure trying to exploit every legal technicality to stop a child sex abuse victim from having his day in court.
We hope this court will follow the lead of so many other courts across the country which have been making it easier, not harder, for child sex victims to expose predators in court.
If Bishop Steib thinks this accused child molesting cleric is innocent, why not defend the case on its merits, rather than hide behind archaic, predator-friendly notions like the statute of limitations?
We hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes - by this priest or any Tennessee cleric - find the courage to come forward, speak up, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
(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, [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])
SCOTN Agrees to Hear Appeal in Priest Abuse Case
The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear an appeal of a civil case alleging child sexual abuse 30 years ago by the late Memphis Catholic priest .
Norman Redwing filed suit in Shelby County Circuit Court in 2005 against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, alleging the diocese knew or should have known Guthrie was a danger to children.
Guthrie was never accused of criminal wrongdoing and had been dead several years when the lawsuit was filed.
The high court will hear arguments in its April term on the Tennessee Appeals Court ruling in February that dismissed Redwing’s lawsuit because Redwing waited too long to inquire about any allegations of abuse against Guthrie.
Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey refused to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the statute of limitations had run.
The diocese appealed and the appeals court in June affirmed the defense argument that Redwing had a year after he turned 18 years old to ask the diocese if there were any other allegations. The same conclusion has led to the dismissal of several other similar suits alleging child sexual abuse by Memphis priests.
But the appeals court ruling in the Redwing case came with a strong dissent from Judge Holly M. Kirby of Memphis who termed the dismissal “premature.”
“Even if Mr. Redwing had filed a lawsuit against the priest when he reached majority, there is a substantial possibility that he would not have discovered that he had a claim of negligent supervision against the diocese,” she wrote.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests