Church Sex Abuse Cover up Is Subject of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests' 'Citizens' Grand Jury'
Three Days of Testimony from Victims & National Experts

PRNewswire [Los Angeles CA]
Downloaded June 2, 2004

LOS ANGELES, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A 12-person "jury," clergy sex abuse victims, and concerned Catholics will hear evidence of sex crimes by Catholic priests and cover ups by church leaders during a three-day "citizens' grand jury" which begins today.

The three-day event, starting June 1st at 9am is sponsored by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. It will take place in the mock courtroom of Southwestern University School of Law, 675 S. Westmoreland Avenue, (6th Floor) in Los Angeles.

The concept stems from the growing frustration of abuse survivors and their advocates who allege Cardinal Roger Mahony's legal hardball and delay strategies have prevented molesters from prosecution, the truth from surfacing, and victims from healing. It will be conducted much like a real grand jury, with witnesses, testimony and the introduction of physical evidence, including some documents that have not been widely publicized. "We can't sit idly by while church officials cruelly drag out the legal process forever," said Mary Grant of Long Beach, SNAP Western Regional< Director, "Catholics need and deserve to know how much their leaders covered up and enabled these crimes."

Witnesses include two nationally known experts in the field of clergy sex abuse. One is Father Thomas Doyle, a widely known Catholic priest and whistleblower who authored a detailed warning to America's bishops nearly 20 years ago of the impending crisis. The other is A. W. Richard Sipe of La Jolla, a former Benedictine monk, researcher, and author whose specialty is the sexual behavior of clerics.

Several molestation victims who were sexually abused after Mahony knew that their perpetrators were dangerous will also testify. Attorneys include Larry Drivon of Stockton (who represents over 500 California clergy abuse victims) and Jeff Anderson of St. Paul (who has handled more than 800 clergy molestation cases over the past two decades).

The diverse "jury" was chosen by a nationally known jury selection organization.

The three-day event is sponsored by SNAP, the nation's largest support group for clergy abuse victims. It was founded in 1989 in Chicago. It now has more than 4,600 members and holds monthly support group meetings in 54 cities.

For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, +1-314-566-9790 cell, or +1-314-645-5915, Mary Grant of Long Beach, +1-626-419 2930 cell, both of SNAP; or Expert Witness, Father Thomas Doyle, +1-202-203-8809; or Larry Drivon of Stockton, +1-209-969-0982, or Jeff Anderson of St. Paul, +1-612-817-8665, both Lawyers for California Clergy Abuse Victims.

SOURCE Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
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