Courtesy Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
Brother Francis Chapman, or “Chappy,” (labeled “12”) and Paul Frey (“27”), both deceased, were accused of abusing children in their care at St. Francis Mission, on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, in South Dakota. Recently, Father Clarence Vavra, now of Minnesota, has confessed to abusing boys while at St. Francis in 1975, according to Ken Bear Chief, a paralegal and investigator with Tamaki Law Firm, in Washington State.

Are Pedophiles Getting Free Pass in South Dakota?

Stephanie Woodard

In March of the following year, a South Dakota circuit court judge relied on the new law to dismiss 18 of the Native American cases, telling The Huffington Post that he felt the law could be applied retroactively, in other words, to lawsuits filed before its existence. More cases were dismissed during 2011.

“Our case was six days from trial when…the court retroactively applied HB 1104,” recalled Dahlen. She and her sisters, who’d sued along with her, appealed to South Dakota’s supreme court, which again denied them the right to be heard, she said.Father Francis Suttmiller, now deceased, was among scores of church employees, living and dead, named by Native Americans who charged that they’d been sexually abused during the mid-20th century at Church-run boarding schools, including the one where he taught, St. Paul’s Indian Mission, in Marty, South Dakota. (Courtesy Sherwyn Zephier)

Not fair, many from in and outside the state have said. “Right now, the point is not for the legislature to litigate these cases,” said state representative Troy Heinert, Rosebud Sioux. “The point is to pass a bill that will give people their day in court.” The abuse phenomenon is not confined to South Dakota, Heinert noted, but part of a worldwide phenomenon facing the Church.

A “travesty” was how Yates described SB 130. “We now know because of science that it takes most people many years to come to terms with childhood sexual abuse. The statute of limitations proposed in SB 130 gives them only a couple of years to do so and grants church entities immunity in the care of all of our children. If this bill is passed, South Dakota will make it more difficult to protect all its children.”

At press time, SB 130 was slated to have its first public airing on February 18, during a South Dakota senate judiciary committee meeting.

Among the many court documents filed in Native American lawsuits against the Catholic Church and its employees was a startlingly breezy letter between Church officials, discussing abuse of little girls by Brother Francis Chapman, or “Chappy,” at St. Francis Mission, on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, in South Dakota. (Courtesy Manly, Stewart & Finaldi)


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Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
Disgusting isn't it! The RCC controlling even the legislators as they write laws! There is a reason the RCC is also called the Catholic Mafia. More lives have been destroyed for untold centuries all the while the RCC hushed people up through whatever means necessary. We know how they destroyed various civilizations where ever the Conquistador's landed with the blessings of the king & the pope. Instead of the blessings of royalty or some religious figurehead, now they attack by their vast supply of lawyers, legislators, supplied by untold billions in funds from the RCC. This new attack of hushing these survivors of abuse is so shameful any lawmaker who votes to accept this shameful document should be defeated in the next state elections in South Dakota! Shame on you lawmakers for even proposing such legislation to victimize survivors one more time! We won't forget those of you who are behind this all come election time!

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
So, the God that was brought to us by the Europeans enlists men who sexually abuse children, AND they get away with it! When our land was first colonized most Native Americans lived their lives according to spirits. We believed that everything around us was alive. We gave thanks every day for the things the Creator provided us. Then came the Europeans. Their God required devotion and money. Entire villages were wiped out to bring us "news of the Saviour" while they stripped us of our culture, our land, our languages and our beliefs. When we resisted (at least here in the Southwest) they cut off our feet. So, us "savage-heathens" went from respecting nature and all living things, giving daily thanks, and treating all men with respect to the Christian way - worshipping once a week, doing whatever we want and expecting to be forgiven on Sunday, being more judgemental when dealing with others and hating those our church our our pastor tells us to.