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Slideshow: Priest Sex Abuse Hits Home

On Friday the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held a small protest in front of the Knoxville Diocese on Northshore Drive to demand the church release information regarding alleged sex abuse.

Susan Vance, SNAP's East Tenn. Coordinator, said she has collected allegations from victims naming at least 11 abusive clergy. Yet only four are publicly known because they have been named in court cases or have come forward and admitted to abuse.

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Those four are Frank Richards, Paul St. Charles, Edward McKeown, and Walter Emala. Of those, St. Charles died late last year; McKeown is currently imprisoned in Tennesseee; and Emala died in Baltimore in 2008. Richards' current whereabouts are not known, but the Palm Beach Post article mentions him operating a restaurant in Florida in 2003.

Vance says many of the allegations against the priests date back to the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, which means the statutes of limitations have run out and the police have no power to pursue the perpetrators. Vance and Annette Alix, whose son was abused at the age of 10, are calling on Bishop Richard Stika to voluntarily release any information the church has.

Bishop Stika came out to meet the protesters and to say he has no knowledge of any files documenting abuse. He said he'd be happy to meet with any victims who wish to come forward.

Follow this link to an audio slideshow of the protest.   

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