Members of the Review Board,
My name is Chris O'Leary.
I was sexually exploited, abused, and ultimately raped by Fr.
Leroy Valentine at the Church of the Immacolata in Richmond
Heights from the fall of 1977 through the spring of 1981.
Then things got REALLY bad.
I discuss what happened to me at a high level in these two pieces...
The Second Sin is a discussion of what happened to me when
I tried to get help and should be of particular interest to
the members of the Review Board.
The Sins of the Fathers is an overview of my entire story.
My experience trying to get help from the Archdiocese of St.
Louis has raised a number of questions that I believe the
members of the Review Board need to consider for reasons both of
(professional) ethics and criminality.
- ABUSE OF THE ABUSED
As I discuss in
The Second Sin, I received nothing but
the Run-Around — nothing but further, this time psychological,
abuse — during the 16 years I tried to get help from the Archdiocese
of St. Louis. Abuse you are party to given your participation on
the Review Board.
- PERJURY & OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
In January 2014 the Archdiocese of St.
Louis produced — under court order — a matrix of
allegations it had received.
That list was incomplete.
because my name wasn't on it.
And I have since
learned that my allegation wasn't the only one kept out of the
matrix. Isn't that Perjury? And Obstruction of Justice? Did
you know you may be party to potentially CRIMINAL acts?
- VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR
As I discuss in
The Second Sin,
the idea of the Victim Assistance Coordinator is at the
center of USCCB's recommendations for how to respond to
the crisis and survivors.
The problem is it’s a sham.
16 years of trying, I was NEVER...
- Put in touch
- Contacted by.
- Told of the existence of.
...a Victim Assistance Coordinator.
Wondering if Deacon Phil Hengen, head of OCYP and my
contact, was incompetent, in late 2013 I went to
Monsignor Richard Hanneke for help. I told Hanneke that
Hengen wasn't doing anything; that Hengen was just
giving me the Run-Around. Hanneke just referred me back
to Hengen. That told me that Hengen was doing his job.
And that the Run-Around was a Strategy, not a
- TIMOTHY CARDINAL DOLAN
It is my understanding that
the Archdiocese of St. Louis has ended its policy of secrecy
when it comes to handling complaints of abuse by priests. Why
then did the Review Team that I met with in 2011 have no record
of my 2002 conversations with Cardinal Dolan or with the
psychologist who I assume was Nancy Brown? Is the Review Board aware of my
2002 conversations with them? I ask in part because I recently discussed this
topic with Bishop Rick Stika of Nashville and he told me that
there was no mention of me or my allegations in Fr. Valentine's
file when Bishop Stika reviewed it.
- NOTHING HAPPENED
Was it appropriate for Cardinal Dolan
in 2002 to repeatedly and definitively tell me that Fr.
Valentine had done nothing to me after only talking to me for a
few minutes on the phone? Without conducting an investigation of
any sort? Was he even qualified to make such a
judgment had he bothered to investigate?
- NOTIFICATION VALENTINE RESIGNED
Why wasn't I notified and/or
followed up with after Fr. Valentine resigned in late March
2002? Just days after I talked to Cardinal Dolan and Nancy
Brown? By Bishop Dolan, Bishop Stika, Archbishop Rigali, and/or
- LAWYERS ON THE REVIEW TEAM
Pastoral Policy, which was in effect at the time that I spoke to
the Review Team in May 2011, says no lawyers are to be members
of a Review Team. However, not one but two lawyers were present
at my meeting with the Review Team. Is that appropriate? Ethical? Why
does that part of the Pastoral Policy exist if it isn't going to
be followed? Why wasn't I told that lawyers from the Archdiocese
were going to be present so I could consider bringing a lawyer
of my own?
- TESTIMONY CUT OFF
I have no idea if the Review Board
has heard of me or knows of my allegations against Fr. LeRoy
Valentine. Assuming you have, and if you made a decision based
on my testimony, you need to understand that my testimony is
incomplete. I was cut off in the middle of my testimony by
Deacon Phil Hengen when he asked me "What do you hope to gain from this process," and then
by the alarm on Mr. Huger's phone going off a few minutes later.
- ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR
Why wasn't I EVER told of the
existence of, put in contact with, or contacted by an Assistance
Coordinator? Despite the expectation that is set by
- NOTIFICATION OF DECISIONS
Why haven't I EVER been
notified of any decision made by the Archdiocesan Review Board?
I took the time to go to you, so why won't you take some time to
reply to me?
- HENGEN DIAGNOSIS
Was it appropriate for Deacon Phil Hengen to diagnose me
at the end of my (abbreviated) meeting with the Review Team? After
meeting with me just once? In a group setting? With lawyers
present? To recommend I read the book, Man Enough?
- FAILURE TO CONTACT PSYCHOLOGIST
Was it appropriate for Deacon Phil Hengen to tell me
he would contact my psychologist and then never do so?
Was it appropriate for Monsignor Richard
Hanneke to refer me back to Deacon Phil Hengen even after I told
him that Hengen had done nothing to help me, much less
put me in touch with an Assistance Coordinator?
- SANDRA PRICE E-MAIL
In February 2018, Sandra Price sent me an e-mail asserting that my "claim" had been
"acknowledged" but, legally speaking, those are empty, worthless
words. They sound like they say something, but don't. She also
lied repeatedly in her e-mail to me, which made it hard for me
to take it seriously as an apology, admission, or whatever.
- SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
Even if the intention of Sandra
Price's e-mail was for it to be an admission, any such language
was completely contradicted by the language of the Settlement
- GABE JONES STATEMENT
In response to
an April 2018 piece by Aisha Sultan that told part of my
story, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Louis alleged
that my story changed. Do you agree with that assessment?
- PERMANENTLY REMOVING VALENTINE
Please explain the
logic of recommending the permanent removal of Fr. Leroy
Valentine — the person who I suspected of and then accused of
abusing me — from public ministry in 2013, announcing the
action publicly via a press release, and making no attempt to
contact me to alert/warn me. Much less help me.
- OTHER SUPPORT FOR SURVIVORS
In researching this piece, I came
to discover that the Archdiocese of St. Louis offers support
groups for survivors of sexual abuse. That’s a great idea.
However, as with the (supposed) Assistance Coordinator, I have
never been told of the existence of, been put in touch with, or
contacted by the coordinator of such a group. Is it anything
more than eyewash? Yet another P.R. exercise? Is there any
there, there? I say that in part because, a few years ago, and
before I filed my lawsuit, I went to the offices of Catholic
Family Services seeking assistance. I was offered no assistance
whatsoever. I certainly wasn’t told of the existence of a
support group for survivors, which leads me to question whether
it even exists.
- AS FRIENDS
I filed my lawsuit with my parents As
Friends so they could help keep my lawsuit moving forward should I
become triggered and not be able to function and/or respond to
my lawyers, as has happened in the past. The first motion the
lawyers for the Archdiocese of St. Louis filed was to have my
parents removed as friends. The only reason they would do that
would be psychologically isolate me. While legal, that seems
unethical if not morally questionable given my existing (and
known) psychological problems.
- SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS
When it became clear that
the efforts of the Archdiocese of St.
Louis to Gaslight me were successful in creating a problem with
the statute of limitations, my lawyer made several efforts to
settle my case, starting at $100,000. All of those efforts were
rejected. Ultimately, I received only $9,000. Do you feel that
$9,000 is an adequate amount of money to cover the costs of
therapy, much less the psychological abuse — Gaslighting and
the Run-Around — that I endured?
- EXPIRING OFFER
The settlement offer I received came
with a short expiration date, which represented another effort
by the Archdiocese of St. Louis to apply psychological pressure.
- MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
I have been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety,
and Complex-PTSD. I have also recently developed some form of
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Hoarding). Is it
appropriate to subject a person with my mental and physical
health history to such an ordeal? To torment them? Is that
FYI, I was fighting Cancer (Malignant Melanoma)
from Spring 2013 onwards, something which the Archdiocese of St.
Louis would have learned during the discovery process.
I do not believe that
Review Board of the Archdiocese of St. Louis can or should
continue to function after being made aware of what I have told
you. As a result…
I call on the Review Board of the
Archdiocese of St. Louis to resign en masse in order to end the
charade and send a message to the Archdiocese of St. Louis that their past
and present abuse of survivors is unacceptable.
I call on Sandra Price, the executive director of the Office
of Child and Youth Protection of the Archdiocese of St. Louis,
to resign. She lied to me in her February 2018 e-mail.
I call on Carol
Brescia, the Victim Assistance Coordinator to resign. Your
position is a sham. I don’t know when you were hired, but please
understand that at no point was I ever told of the existence of
you or your (supposed) predecessor. As an LCSW, your
participation in this charade places your license and reputation
I call on Saundra Barker, Program Director,
Catholic Family Services to resign. As an MSW and LCSW, and by
participating in such a charade, your license and reputation are
I call on Pope Francis to launch an
investigation of Archbishop Robert Carlson and the Archdiocese of
St. Louis. What I have experienced and
documented is a clear and on-going pattern of disregarding the
guidelines that the Church has established.
I call on Pope Francis to launch an investigation of Timothy
Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Catholic Church in the United
States long ago lost its way and, as I hope my story makes
clear, continues to inflict pain and suffering — to
torment — those who survived abuse at the hands of a few, evil
Prove to people that the Catholic Church’s
response to the sexual abuse scandal is more than just Eyewash.
ivandoesnot at gmail.com