October 07, 2005

Group urges reporting of clergy sex abuse




A national organization urged anyone who knows of sexual abuse committed by former or current Girls and Boys Town staff members to come forward.

SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Thursday in front of the chancery of the Archdiocese of Omaha that agencies and individuals must be straightforward about sexual abuse.

"Kids are safe when predators are locked up," SNAP national director David Clohessy said.

SNAP held the press conference about a week after another lawsuit was filed by a former Boys Town resident alleging that a staffer or priest there sexually abused him years ago. In this lawsuit, Darren Boudreau, 34, alleged in Douglas County District Court that the Rev. Richard Colbert sexually assaulted him many times in 1985 and 1986.

Colbert, who was removed from Boys Town in 1988, is pastor at St. Ann Catholic Church in Warsaw, Mo. He is on administrative leave from the parish while he is investigated on the allegation.
Boudreau is at least the fifth former Boys Town resident who has sued the agency for troubled children, alleging sexual abuse. The suits all have been filed within the last three years.

John Melingagio, a Boys Town spokesman, showed up at the SNAP event and listened from the side. Melingagio said afterward that Boys Town has no tolerance for sexual abuse. Boys Town children's safety and security are vital, he said, and there will be no cover-ups.

Posted by kshaw at October 7, 2005 11:08 AM