|Victims Expose Predator's 50-Year Abuse Career
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
April 19, 2011
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose hundreds of pages of a secret personnel file - which goes back to the 1920s - of a Gallup priest who was "dumped" in Northern Arizona after church officials discovered he was still molesting children. They will urge church officials to:
---aggressively seek out other local victims,
---personally visiting parishes begging witnesses and whistleblowers to speak up, and
---Urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes to get help.
They will also:
-- Blast church leaders who claim that the abuse crisis is "new,"
-- Show how even evidence of crimes committed long ago leave a trail of evidence and witnesses, and
-- Urge Arizona lawmakers to consider changing the state's criminal and civil statutes of limitations to allow victims to seek justice, no matter when their abuse occurred.
Outside of St. Mary's Parish
302 East Spring Street (at 3rd), Kingman
Tuesday, April 19th at 1 pm
Two-three child sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (snapnetwork.org), including a California woman who is the group's western regional director. A victim of the priest will also be there, as will a former priest who is now an advocate for victims and an expert on clergy files.
Two weeks ago, an attorney for victims of Clement A. Hageman received the cleric's secret personnel file from the Diocese of Gallup, NM. The file shows explicit church knowledge of sexual abuse, cover-up and priest dumping going as far back as the 1920s.
Hageman worked as the pastor of St. Mary's in Kingman from 1953 to 1963, when he was removed for allegations of abuse and alcoholism. He also worked in Northern Arizona parishes in Winslow, Holbrook, and the Missions of Meyer, Camp Verde near Humbolt, AZ. During Hageman's lifetime, all of the parishes and missions were in the Diocese of Gallup, NM.
The cleric was first identified as by Corpus Christi, Tx church leaders as a risk to children back in 1927, before his ordination. After he was made a priest, he was then sent to the Diocese of Gallup, NM, whose bishop assigned Hageman to remote Northern Arizona parishes and Native American reservations because of allegations of abuse, complaints from parishioners, and alcoholism. Hageman died in 1975.
During the past few years, numerous victims have come forward to name Hageman as their abuser.
The 156-page set of documents - noteworthy for the explicit and forthright language used to describe the abuse - fly in the face of arguments made by Catholic officials about older child molestation allegations. In fact, these documents directly contradict statements made my church officials in opposition of civil window legislation in Arizona, when church leaders claim that they had no knowledge or evidence of abuse of cases where the perpetrator is deceased.
Even though the offender may be dead, victims are still suffering, witnesses still have important information, and enablers can still be exposed for knowingly and recklessly putting children at risk of abuse, SNAP says.
The documents will be available at the event and online afterward at www.bishop-accountability.org
Victims of Clement Hageman are represented by Attorney Robert Pastor of Haralson, Miller, Pitt, Feldman & McAnally, P.L.C. in Phoenix, (602) 266-5557 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Pastor was the attorney who attained the files
Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director, (949) 322-7434, email@example.com
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Baca of Phoenix, AZ, SNAP Arizona Leader, (602) 692-1958
Terry McKiernan of Bishop-Acountability.org, (508) 479-9304, email@example.com
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