Loading
Judge orders SNAP to turn over abuse records
Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Mesle.
Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Mesle.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A Missouri judge has ordered a group that works with victims of sexual abuse by clergy to turn over decades of records to an accused Catholic priest’s lawyers who want to determine whether the group has been coaching alleged victims and plaintiffs to say they repressed memories of abuse.

Attorneys representing priests in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph sought the records from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP.

Although the group strongly denied that it coaches victims, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Mesle said she will order the material to be turned over to the priest’s lawyers and the diocese’s lawyers.

“I believe they are entitled to have information on repressed memory,” she said April 20.

The SNAP material also would be available for use in four other cases pending against Tierney, and possibly for lawyers defending other priests in the Kansas City area and in Clinton County, Mo., Mesle said, according to the Associated Press.

Missouri law has a five-year statute of limitations on civil sexual abuse allegations unless the victim can prove that he or she had repressed memory of the abuse. If defense lawyers can prove that plaintiffs did not suppress memories of sexual abuse, judges would have to throw out a lawsuit against Fr. Michael Tierney and the Catholic diocese.

Fr. Tierney is accused of abusing a 13-year-old boy in the 1970s but has denied any wrongdoing.

The names of third parties who contacted SNAP with information about possible abuse may be removed from the documents, some of which are over 20 years old. Lawyers representing accused priests and the diocese have agreed to allow the removal.

Fr. Tierney’s lawyer Brian Madden rejected claims that the lawyers and the diocese are “trying to ‘out’ the alleged victims.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he told the Associated Press.

Rebecca Randles, the alleged abuse victim’s attorney, said her client never had contact with SNAP and has legitimately repressed memories of abuse.

Judge Mesle noted that she expects her order to be appealed.

Last January, SNAP said that it would refuse to submit to a judge's request for information about allegations against Fr. Tierney.

In a Jan, 2 deposition, SNAP director David Clohessy answered questions concerning accusations that an attorney violated a court gag order by revealing information about an abuse lawsuit to the organization.

Judge Mesle previously said that Clohessy “almost certainly” has knowledge relevant to the Fr. Tierney case.

According to the Kansas City Star, she said on April 20 that she planned to order another deposition for Clohessy.

SNAP's stated goals include abuse prevention and the healing of those wounded by abuse. Its critics, however, say focuses more on attacking the Catholic Church than assisting victims.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Nov
27

Liturgical Calendar

November 27, 2014

Thursday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 17:11-19

Gospel
Date
11/27/14
11/25/14
11/24/14

Daily Readings


Gospel:: Lk 21: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/27/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 17:11-19

Homily
Date
11/27/14
11/25/14
11/24/14