Monthly Archives: September 2013

What if a perpetrator is getting out of jail?

S/he has served his or her time. Now what?

For victims, it can be sheer horror

There is both relief and joy for a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and their families when a convicted perpetrator goes to jail.  The perpetrator can no longer gain access to a child. But that relief can be short-lived.

The typical felony child abuse sentence is a 2-3 years, unless there are special circumstances.Why? The economics of prison overcrowding and state constitutional rules regarding civil commitment.

The situation of Oblate priest James Rapp OSFS is different. Rapp is a Roman Catholic priest convicted to 40 years for child abuse, reduced to 16 years. He will be free in 2015. But his case is the exception, not the norm.

Recent Changes

The cases Bishop Finn in Kansas City and the conviction of Monsignor Lynn in Philadelphia have changed how criminally charged clerics plead. The last four priest perpetrators on 288 (a) child abuse in California (Father Denis Lyons in Orange; Rafael Venegas and Luis Jose Cuevas in Los Angeles and Uriel Ojeda in Sacramento) all pled guilty to reduced sentences. Why plead guilty? To keep the bishop or archbishop from testifying at trial.

But what is the perpetrator is still a threat?

If a state has a Sexual Predator Act, victims can suggest that the District Attorney charge the perpetrator as a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP). From a lay person’s viewpoint, SVP is a hybrid of criminal and mental health law, forcing an inmate to go before a mental health board before release is granted.

The public then can intervene and argue against the release for public safety reasons. They can show the perpetrator is still a danger, or that the paraphilia that he/she suffers from is a permanent psychic infirmity for which there is no guaranteed treatment.

Does SVP work? You bet! 

Every state needs a Sexual Predator Act to protect Children. The key is to act early and affirmatively. If your state has such a law, ensure your police report and criminal complaint plead all the violent acts with specificity. It will make the SVP determination.

It is hard and takes courage to make a police report. But do it for you—and the kids of today and tomorrow. If you know other survivors, encourage them to also come forward and make a report to law enforcement.

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The Double Dirty Dozen

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Gallup New Mexico has become the twelfth Bishop or Provincial to seek bankruptcy protection. Gallup rounds out the first dirty dozen of Dioceses and religious orders to hide behind the federal bankruptcy courts.

The filing is not a surprise. It broadcasts the clear intention of avoiding depositions under oath. Bishop James Wall and Father Lawrence O’Keefe J.C.D.  are leveraging the civil courts to avoid disclosing what they learned in auditing all the Gallup Secret Archive files.

Why file for bankruptcy protection?  Look at these 24 clerics who have been in the Diocese of Gallup.

Father William G. Allison is a Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana priest who was sent for treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, NM.  After treatment, Bishop Bernard Espelage OFM accepted him into the Gallup diocese ad experimentum where Allison sexually abused three minors in Flagstaff, AZ (before Flagstaff became part of the Phoenix Diocese). Bishop Espelage then shipped Allison to the Diocese of Fresno. His status is unknown.

Father Michael Aten was removed for childhood sexual abuse in 1991.

Father John Boland plead guilty to childhood sexual abuse in 1993.

Father James Burns plead guilty to molesting minors in 2004.

Father Santino Casimano was a Diocesan priest who worked in the Navajo Nation and is accused of sexually abusing minors in several dioceses, including the Diocese of Orange, CA.

Father Charles Chicanowicz O.F.M. is a Franciscan Friar to abused children on the Navajo Nation.

Father David Clark C.M.F. is a Claretian Order priest accused of childhood sexual abuse in Prescott, AZ.

Father Lawrence Flores was a priest of the Diocese of Gallup before parts where transferred to the newly created Diocese of Phoenix. Flores was sued for childhood sexual abuse and left the priesthood.

Father Harold Graf was ordained for the Diocese of Gallup and transferred to newly created Diocese of Phoenix. Graf is accused of sexually molesting minors at Northern Arizona University. His status is unknown.

Father Clement Hageman OMI was an Order of Mary Immaculate priest, now known as the “Route 66 priest,” who was transferred from diocese to diocese with notice of child sexual abuse going back to 1937.

Father Julian Hartig OFM was a Franciscan Friar. He has been credibly accused in both the Province of Saint John the Baptist in Cincinnati and the Diocese of Gallup.

Father Robert Kirsch was a priest of Gallup who transferred to Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Kirsch was accused of childhood sexual abuse; suit dismissed on statute of limitations grounds.

Father James Lidenmeyer was the Vicar General of the Gallup Diocese and was sued for sexual abuse of minors.

Father Diego Mazon OFM is a friar of the Saint John the Baptist Province in Cincinnati. He is accused of childhood sexual abuse in the Navajo Nation, Gallup and Santa Fe. His status is unknown.

Father Bruce Macarthur of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, SD was convicted of the sexual abuse of minors. He later volunteered in Gallup with the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Missionaries of Charity in 2003.  Last conviction is 2008.

Father Douglas McNeill is a former Sacred Heart priest who admitted to sexually abusing a child in Indian Country and tried to pay off the survivor with church funds. His status is unknown.

Father Harry Morgan was ordained for the Diocese of Gallup was incardinated into the Diocese of Phoenix. He plead no contest to sexual abuse of minors in 1975, removed in 2012 and his status is unknown.

Monsignor Francis Murphy of the Archdiocese of Anchorage was allowed to retire to Cuba, NM.  Murphy is credibly accused sexually abusing minors in Boston and Anchorage for decades. His status is unknown.

Bishop Donald E. Pelotte S.S.S. was the Gallup Ordinary (Bishop) from 1986 to 2008. He is remembered as the first Native American elevated to the Episcopacy, the first Bishop to make a 911 call reporting “…gentle little people, about 3 to 4 feet tall, wearing Halloween masks.…” in the Cathedral rectory, and the first modern-day Bishop to be severely beaten in the rectory.

Father James Rodriquez was removed by the Diocese in 1999 for accusations of molesting a child. His status is unknown.

Father Raul Sanchez is a Diocese priest named in several lawsuits from Madre Di Dios parish in Winslow, Arizona. Status is unknown; Sanchez thought to be in Mexico.

Father Mark Schornack OFM was a Franciscan priest who served several decades in Indian Country. Several cases against him have settled.

Father John T. Sullivan was a priest of the Diocese of Manchester, NH. He was brought to Gallup by Bishop Bernard Espelage OFM after treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs NM. Father Sullivan sexually abuse minors in Manchester, Gallup, Phoenix and San Diego.

Father Samuel Wilson was a Diocesan priest is named as a child abuser who served on several Reservations and Hispanic parishes.

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