WA – Lawsuit alleging Seattle Archdiocese helped sex abuser secure a public school position recently settled, victims respond

For immediate release, Thursday, September 28, 2017

Statement by Mary Dispenza of Seattle, Volunteer Member of the Board of Directors and Volunteer Seattle Leader for SNAP, the Survivors Network (425-941-6001 or 425-644-2468[email protected])

One of two lawsuits filed against the Seattle Archdiocese has settled for $1.3 million. The other suit is ongoing. Both alleged that the Archdiocese helped a teacher secure a public school position while knowing that he had sexually abused students at Archdiocesan schools. The teacher, Edward Courtney, was on a list the Archdiocese released last year of brothers, priests, deacons and nuns who abused children in its territory. 



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According to The News Tribune, the Seattle Archdiocese knew Mr. Courtney had abused children at St. Alphonsus Parish School and at O’Dea High School, but administrators did not report him to the state, as required by law. Instead, they wrote letters of recommendation for the teacher.


SNAP, the Survivors Network, has no direct knowledge of the allegations in these lawsuits.  However, as advocates for child sex abuse victims and survivors ourselves, we know that children's lives are saved when adults tak the simple action of reporting abuse.  

We applaud the two victims who filed suits for pursuing these claims. Mandatory reporters are on the front lines of defending children, and when they fail to do their job, they should be held accountable to civil and criminal law.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 members. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contacts – Mary Dispenza (
425-941-6001 or 425-644-2468, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003[email protected]), Melanie Jula Sakoda (925-708-6175[email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434[email protected])


SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant