Church’s Lawyers Have SNAP in Their Sights – Victims’ advocacy group’s national director speaks to RD about a flurry of subpoenas, and fears of ongoing harassment
By Kathryn Joyce March 16, 2012
In October, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the oldest, largest, and most visible peer counseling group for victims of clergy sex abuse in any denomination, received a subpoena from a Kansas City, Missouri, priest being prosecuted for sexually abusing an older male victim SNAP has never met. The subpoena demanded a sweeping range of documents and correspondence concerning thousands of the estimated 100,000-plus people SNAP has counseled over two decades.
In December, the group received a second subpoena from the other side of the state, from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, facing its own charges concerning the alleged abuse of a 19-year-old woman. SNAP has fought the requests, citing Missouri laws protecting the privacy of rape survivors, and describing the records-request as a coordinated Church effort to bully sex abuse victims into silence and harass a longtime opponent into bankruptcy.
While the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has denied that there is a national strategy for the Church to fight sex abuse cases more aggressively, even the Church’s staunchest defenders see the pattern. As William Donohue, the pugilistic president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, told the New York Times this week, bishops are going after SNAP because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”….
Why do you think they are doing this?
What they’re trying to do is to discredit, derail, bankrupt, and silence SNAP. And to scare anyone—police, prosecutors, victims, concerned Catholics—from contacting us and reporting crimes and exposing corruption.
What they have said in court filings is we’re trying to get to the truth of this case. But if you think about it, the easiest way to get to the truth of John Doe BP v. Fr. Michael Tierney and the Kansas City Diocese and Jane Doe v. Fr. Joseph D. Ross and the St. Louis Archdiocese is to depose the parties, the people involved, John Doe and Jane Doe. And they haven’t even tried. In both cases, they haven’t even sought the records. In essence they’re using these two court cases as a ruse and a weapon.
Italy police break up global online pedophile network
By Catherine Hornby, Reuters March 8, 2012
ROME – Italian police have broken up a pedophile network spanning at least 28 countries that used social media websites to swap pornographic images and videos of child abuse.
Ten people have been arrested in Italy, the United States, France and Portugal, and another 112 are being investigated on suspicion of child pornography, Italy’s computer crime police bureau NIT said in a statement….
The data revealed an Italian-founded criminal group with more than 700 followers around the world, exchanging thousands of images and videos, NIT said. http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Italy+police+break+global+online+pedophile+network/6270037/story.html