Woman Claims Father Fathered Her Child
Says Priest Left Her during Engagement

By Suzanne Le Mignot
CBS 2 [Chicago IL]
January 11, 2006

A young mother says Father Jason Martin is a father alright. A woman accuses him of promising to leave the priesthood. CBS 2's Suzanne LeMignot reports on the woman's claim that instead he left her, and their new baby.

"He just played house and then decided to play priest again," said Sandra Ring talking about the man she dated in high school and reconnected with in 2003. His name is Fr. Jason Martin.

"He told me that he had thought a lot about me over the years and he told me [that] had our relationship progressed he wouldn't have even gone into the priesthood," said Ring.

Fr. Martin left the religious order of the Discalced Carmelite Friars. He started living with Ring. He even proposed, setting a wedding date.

Then, with no explanation, he asked for the engagement ring and left.

Days later, Ring learned she was pregnant. She gave birth to son Aaron on March 10th of last year.

A D.N.A. test proved with 99.9 percent certainty that Fr. Martin was Aaron's dad.

Ring says she's been shunned by Fr. Martin's religious order and him. Through an attorney though, he claims to want to provide financial support. So far, all she's received is $1,000 and mounting legal bills.

"They're fighting me every step of the way to get something which my son is owed, which is child support," said Ring.

"Father Martin has known for almost two years now that he's the father of this baby," said Barbara Blaine, the president of S.N.A.P.

Blaine, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says it's time for Fr. Martin to take responsibility.

Calls for comment to the head of Father Martin's religious order in Milwaukee and his attorney were not returned.

Fr. Martin is not an Archdiocesan priest, so the Chicago Archdiocese has no jurisdiction here, only to revoke his ability to administer sacraments. That would happen only if a review by his order found wrongdoing.

CBS 2's Suzanne LeMignot went to the religious order in Hyde Park to see if Fr. Martin could comment on this story himself. She was told he had "gone east." Ring claims Fr. Martin went to Arizona recently, but is back in Chicago.

In Fr. Martin's current role, he is the vocation director for the Discalced Carmelite Friars at the Edith Stein House of Studies in Hyde Park. His job is to get young men ready to enter the priesthood.


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