Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Local Abuse Network Accuses Catholic Church of Sheltering Molester

Local members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, are accusing the San Francisco Salesians order of Catholic priests of sheltering an alleged serial child molester.

This, just one week after the Los Angeles Archdiocese settled with sex-abuse victims for $660 million.

SNAP members handed out leaflets outside Saints Peter and Paul Church Sunday, warning parishioners of Father Richard Presenti, who they say is the subject of a new abuse lawsuit.

"We believe the priest is living here in San Francisco," said Joey Piscitelli, who told KCBS’ Chris Filippi he was molested by another priest who worked at the same church.

"Salesians has a track record of sheltering accused molesters." Salesians Spokesman Sam Singer said Father Presenti is in a restricted community where he has no contact with children.

He added that while there have been cases of abuse in the past, it’s the Salesians who are being victimized now. "The Salesians take this issue very seriously. Today, unfortunately, there are a number of people who are trying to capitalize on those cases and are looking more for a pay day than a judgment day," said Singer.

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