ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Monday, April 28, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )
Fr. Robert R. Osborne has passed away. We are grateful he can’t hurt another child ever again. We sympathize with Osborne’s family and for the Catholic parishioners who felt close to him, but we hope his passing will help his victims find healing.
Fr. Osborne was one of eight St. Louis Marianists who have been accused of sexually abusing children. One of them (Brother John Woulfe) was sued in the past few weeks.
Fr. Osborne stepped down as the head of Vianney after he was sued for abuse, claiming the law suit would distract him from his job.
According to a 2006 lawsuit, Fr. Osborne used “his position to gain the trust” of a teenaged student, “coercing him to drink alcoholic beverages, making sexual comments to him, (trying) to observe and photograph him when he was undressed, hugging and kissing him, and making other overt and covert sexual contact with him.” At least one other accuser later came forward to police.
Even after a civil suit was settled, Fr. Osborne was not put in a remote and secure treatment facility, nor did he have his priestly faculties removed until several years later. Even after the settlement, Catholic officials let him say mass at a Kirkwood parish until SNAP exposed and criticized this reckless move.
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