January 15, 2005

Ex-church music leader sues diocese for $2M

Albany Times Union

First published: Saturday, January 15, 2005

ALBANY -- The former music director of a Rensselaer County church is seeking $2 million in damages from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, claiming the pastor sexually abused her in December 2003.

Mary Ann Turner Snow, 50, and her husband, John Snow, of New Scotland, went public with claims against the Rev. Jerome Gingras Friday during a news conference arranged by their attorney, John Aretakis.

The mother of seven children said she felt spiritually and morally responsible to detail the priest's behavior in the sacristy of the Church of St. Mary at Clinton Heights on Dec. 21, 2003, "no matter how humiliating it is for me to come forward."

Snow said Gingras called her and her husband, a former cantor, into the back room an hour after other congregants had left the 1,100-family church.

"During our conversation, Father told me to turn around," she said. "I didn't know what to expect. I thought there might have been a Christmas bonus taped to the wall."

"But instead, he said, 'I had a dream that we were having this conversation. And, in the dream, this is what happened,' " Snow said.

Posted by kshaw at January 15, 2005 09:01 AM