Survivors network: Church, Hawley slow to oust sex abusers

Columbia Daily Tribune

December 1, 2018

By Pat Pratt

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the Jefferson City Diocese and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley are not doing enough to investigate and raise awareness of sex abuse by clergy.

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight released in November a list of 33 names of Jefferson City Diocese clergy that had been “credibly accused” of illicit sexual acts involving minors. The list came during a listening tour regarding the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and on the heels of an announced investigation by Hawley.

David Clohessy, St. Louis director and longtime member of SNAP, says the list is incomplete. He claims that three names, one being a priest who lived in a Columbia rectory and was later deemed a sexually violent predator, were not included.

“It just takes seconds, literally seconds for a predator to shove his hands in a child’s pants,” Clohessy said. “If they know that predator, especially a serial predator, was in the diocese, then McKnight owes it to the parents and parishioners to let them know.”

Father Fred Lenczycki worked at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Columbia and another parish in St. James in the mid-1980s, according to a SNAP information release. He was arrested and convicted in 2004 of abusing three boys in the Joliet, Illinois, area, where he was ordained, and is believed to have molested many more children in multiple states. His current whereabouts are unknown.

The other omitted names are those of Father John C. Baskett and Father Kenneth J. Roberts. Baskett, the release states, worked in Boonville and Tipton and was accused in 2007 of abusing a 15-year-old girl for two years and using

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