Legal Aid Society Honors Peter Isely

By Bruce Vielmetti
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
September 12, 2010

Peter Isely, (above) the face of efforts to hold Catholic church officials accountable for years of sexual abuse of children by priests, was recognized recently by the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee.

At its annual luncheon Sept. 2, the society presented Isely with its Equal Justice Medal. The citation read, in part:

Peter began his advocacy mission by standing out in the cold, on public sidewalks, in front of local churches and the cathedral, as he sought to draw attention to a succession of vicious crimes. At first, no one paid attention, but slowly a groundswell began to build. Eventually, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, New York Times, and CNN began reporting on his crusade for justice. Today, the international media acknowledge him as an eloquent spokesperson for victims, now adults, who were robbed of their innocent childhoods.

Isely is now the Midwest regional director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

The citation noted that Legal Aid lawyers represent many children born to 14 and 15-year-old mothers who were impregnated by men in their 20s and 30s.

The Thomas Cannon Equal Justice Medal has been awarded since 1991 to people in the community who assist the Legal Aid Society fulfill its mission by advocating for justice.

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