Virginia Attorney General Secures Conviction of Former Priest; SNAP responds
(For Immediate Release June 7, 2023)
Richmond, VA -- Attorney General Jason Miyares today announced that Scott Asalone, a former priest of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Purcellville, Va., was sentenced by a Loudon County Circuit Court Judge to an eight-year prison term for carnal knowledge of a 14-year-old child.
The sexual abuse occurred in 1985 when Asalone, now 66, was 29 and the victim was 14. In addition to the sentence handed down by the Court, Asalone is required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life and to have no contact with the victim.
This example plainly proves that victims can heal and do not have to suffer in shame and secrecy. No matter how long ago the abuse occurred, it is still significant to investigators and us. The victim's bravery aided in the prosecution of a predator and the removal of filth from society. Jason Miyares, the Attorney General of Virginia, deserves our thanks. Thank you also to the Virginia State Police and the Major Crimes Unit for their outstanding work on this case.
It is vital to highlight that this investigation began with a tip to Virginia's Attorney General's reporting hotline. Their bravery in taking on this issue and fighting for justice on behalf of survivors aids in the functioning of vicarious justice for all victims who will never get their day in court. We appreciate their efforts and their achievement in obtaining this critical conviction.
Becky Ianni, SNAP Virginia State Leader shared this with us. ‘Every time a child abuser is convicted and sent to jail; our children are safer. Other victims who may still be sitting in painful silence are encouraged to come forward.’
Additional comments came from Tim Schlenz, SNAP Leader, Shenandoah Valley, ‘Survivors live out a life sentence by the hands of perpetrators like this. This is an awesome step for the brave survivor who courageously came forward.’
We encourage everyone, which includes adults, who have experienced sexual contact by a Catholic cleric or layperson to reach out to trusted professionals and to groups like ours for help and support. If someone believes a crime has been committed, they should also contact law enforcement.
Becky Ianni, SNAP Virginia State Leader, (703-801-6044, [email protected]) Tom Schlenz, SNAP Leader, Shenandoah, (540-532-6347, [email protected]) Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)