KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The leading advocacy group for child victims of clergy sex abuse may be compelled to turn over 23 years of internal documents, correspondence and email to the attorneys of an accused priest unless Missouri state courts act to quash a court-ordered deposition.
David Clohessy, head of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, has been ordered to appear for deposition in a county court case involving allegations of sexual misconduct against Kansas City diocesan priest Fr. Michael Tierney.
Victims’ advocates say if Clohessy is compelled to appear, it could have wide-ranging impact on the ability of victims of clergy sex abuse to identify their accusers and tell their stories without revealing their names in public.
A law professor noted for her decades of work with clergy sex abuse victims said the “end result” of Clohessy’s deposition would be “a huge chilling effect on helping child sex abuse victims at every stage.”