Defying Judge, SNAP Won’t Budge

By Kevin Killeen
CBS St. Louis
July 27, 2016

Barbara Dorris and David Clohessy of SNAP protest Marianist Order (Kevin Killeen/KMOX)

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) continues to refuse a federal court order to hand over the names of alleged sexual abuse victims.

SNAP founder David Clohessy says the judge could possibly find him in contempt and fine him, but he says the victims’ names can’t be divulged.

Father Joseph Jiang

“We’re concerned about the emotional well-being of people, some of whom may be suicidal,” Clohessy said, “and we’re worried about the health and well-being of kids who are molested, and being molested right now, who are pondering – should I tell my school counselor? Should I tell my school therapist? And now they’re worried their privacy won’t be protected.”

A judge ordered the names released in response to a lawsuit by Father Joseph Jiang. Jiang alleges SNAP conspired to direct alleged victims to an attorney known for filing civil suits against the church– in exchange for financial donations the lawyer allegedly made to SNAP.

Clohessy denies he’s involved in a conspiracy.

“When victims want experienced lawyers, therapists or cops, we give them several names,” Clohessy said. “We try to be as helpful as possible, and some of those lawyers, therapists and cops donate to us.”

Clohessy declined to discuss how much money SNAP receives in donations from parties involved in cases.

The court ordered the release of the names on Friday. Since then, a group of alleged victims filed an emergency motion asking the judge to keep their names private. Father Jiang’s attorney filed a memo in response to that, and SNAP’s attorney is expected to file a response to JIANG’s memo before week’s end.

U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson could possibly rule on the latest motions sometime next week.

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