Group Rallies for Justice in FW Clergy Abuse Allegations

By David Schechter
WFAA [Texas]
December 4, 2006

Fort Worth — After hundreds of pages of secret files were released in relation to seven Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth priests accused of sexually abusing children, a national support group is demanding justice.

Two members of SNAP, which stands for Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, say they want Tarrant County District Attorney Tim Curry to prosecute anyone in the church who committed a crime.

SNAP members want justice for after released socuments showed the members of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth knew about abuse and covered it for 20 years.
Photo by The WFAA-TV

Kris Galland, of Dallas, and Mary Grant, from California, both say they were sexually abused by clergy when they were young.

While both say their incidents did not happen in Tarrant County, in a show of support, the two walked a letter over to Curry's office.

"We believe it can be very tempting for the DA to sit back passively waiting for the phone to ring," Grant said.

While Curry was not available, they did meet briefly with his assistant, David Montague.

"There's been no appointment," he said of Grant and Galland's presence. "I have no idea what anybody's doing here."

Montague later said the office is reviewing all the documents released last week, and if there are specific allegations to pursue they will be pursued.

But members of SNAP said they want law enforcement to actively pursue the diocese and seek out more victims.

"When victims are prodded to come forward by those in authority to prosecute, they're much more likely to come forward," Grant said.

Last week, after a long legal fight, the diocese released the personnel records of seven priests. The records showed the church knew about abuse and covered it for 20 years.

Galland and Grant said they believe the public has still only heard a fraction of the truth.

I would say that's a horribly inaccurate and low number of child molesters they had in their ranks," Gallant said.

Those in the district attorney's office say it's appalled by the allegations and they will interview any victim it knows about and launch an investigation if one is warranted.



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