Recent 'Disturbing' Clergy Sex Abuse & Cover Up Lawsuit Settled for $1.2 Million
Just three years ago, church officials withheld info from police about a
Crimes took place in 2002 but pedophile priest stayed in parish work; suit
was filed in 2005
DVDs will be provided with victim testifying, predator taking the Fifth, &
church authorities lying
Washington Archdiocese and large religious order kept secrets about and
moved sex offender
Even now, Catholic religious orders are 'especially secretive and
reckless,' self help group, SNAP, says
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The following press release is
being issued on behalf of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by
At sidewalk news conferences in DC and three other cities, a new $1.2
million settlement in a recent Catholic priest sex abuse and cover up
lawsuit will be disclosed and discussed.
The child sex crimes happened until 2002, the predator was moved to
another state, and during a police probe of the case, church officials
failed to notify law enforcement about reports of a second victim.
Later, the church hierarchy sought a court order to prevent them from
having to disclose the name of a Catholic teacher who was in touch with the
second victim. A judge refused to grant their request.
TOMORROW, Thursday, Aug. 23, 1:30 p.m.
Outside St. Dominic's Catholic Church, 630 E Street SW, Washington DC
The Frederick MD parents of the now 21 year old victim, their
attorneys, and a Missouri man who heads a nationwide a support group called
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Last week, Brandon Rains settled the civil child molestation lawsuit he
filed in 2005 against the Washington Archdiocese, a religious order, and
Fr. Aaron Joseph Cote, who abused Rains when he was a teenager. The crimes
took place at/near two DC-area parishes (including this one) just five
years ago (2001-02). Despite two separate, credible child sex abuse
allegations, church officials let Cote keep working in parish ministry, up
until that suit was filed. Equally disturbing, they fought to keep secret
the identity of a Catholic teacher who was in touch with another young
victim of Cote's.
Thirty pages of previously-secret documents, filed in a DC court, will
be provided. They show that Catholic authorities were worried and warned
about Cote's excessive drinking and his disturbing interest in children
even during his seminary days. They considered not ordaining him.
After Rains reported his abuse, Cote was transferred to St. Pius V
church in Providence, Rhode Island. Previously, he'd worked in
--Peru, where records show he repeatedly and inappropriately let kids
be and stay in priests' living quarters,
--Ohio, where he was also accused of molesting a boy years ago in the
Columbus diocese. (For months, however, church officials refused to turn
over, either to police or to Brandon's attorneys, the name of a key witness
in that incident. Ultimately, under court order, that individual's identity
was finally disclosed.)
The case is clear proof, SNAP says, of how church officials in general
(and religious orders in particular) ignore the US bishops weak and vague
but highly-touted child sex abuse policies adopted five years ago
Cote, now 56, belongs to the Dominican religious order and also worked
at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Bethesda and Mother Seton Church
in Germantown (where some of Rains' abuse took place).
dyn/content/article/2005/11/16/AR2005111602414.html (Please cut and
paste URL if it is not active.)
Similar news conferences are being held Thursday in two cities where
Cote worked (Providence RI and Columbus OH) and where he now lives (New
The lawsuit was filed as case number DC-2005-CA008968B.
SOURCE Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
for a listing of alternate locations.