Group Releases Names of Alleged Sexual Abuse Victims and Priests
JEFFERSON CITY - The secretary-treasurer of an organization aimed exposing sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests revealed a list of eight Missouri children Monday he said were sexually molested by priests. Michael Wegs of the organization, Come to the Stable The Stephens Spalding Foundation, held the news conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the closing of St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary in Hannibal, Missouri.
According to Wegs, the school was closed in 2002 because of low attendance. Wegs said the low attendance was because there were numerous reports of priests molesting the students.
Wegs released the names of six priests he says committed the sexual acts against the children.
Deacon Dan Joyce, the director of communications for the Diocese of Jefferson City, attended the small news conference.
Joyce refused to go on camera and would not comment about the allegations. He said he could not comment because the diocese had just received the information from Wegs at the same time as the media. Joyce did say he wanted people to know that there is no danger right now because the priests named Monday are either dead or no longer working in a church.
The names of the six priest revealed are: Rev. Frank D. Westoff, Rev. Robert G. Scobee, Rev. Sean Smythe, Rev. James J. Mohan, Msgr. Charles H. Patterson, Rev. David G. Buescher.
Wegs said those who have been a victim of this type of abuse can contact a survivors' network website. The group is know as S.N.A.P., the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests.
Wegs is holding a round table discussion that is open to the public Monday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Page Library at Lincoln University.