Friday, December 31, 2010

Lack of supervision
Victims want priest kicked off upcoming cruise

He’s one of LA’s most notorious serial predators

Due to legal technicality, he walks free despite 41 allegations

Group wants LA’s Cardinal Mahony to better supervise pedophile priests

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging a cruise line and a Catholic official to stop a priest who molested dozens of girls from taking a Caribbean and South American vacation in a few days.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, have learned that Fr. George Neville Rucker is booked for a 79 day Discovery Grand South American cruise on January 3, 2011 out of Barbados with a company called “Voyages of Discovery.” (For a copy of the documentation, please call Barbara 314 862 7688.)

Rucker was arrested aboard a Holland America cruise ship in Alaska in 2002 by Los Angeles detectives. He was charged with molesting 12 girls. A year later, criminal charges against him and several other accused pedophile priests were dropped due to a US Supreme Court ruling (called “Stogner”) relating to the statute of limitations.

Dozens of other women have since sued Rucker for sexually abusing them as children.

“This is an extraordinarily dangerous and manipulative criminal heading to poorer countries where kids are even more vulnerable than they are in the US,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “Los Angeles archdiocesan officials claim they are supervising him but obviously are not.”

SNAP wants Los Angeles’ Cardinal Roger Mahony and cruise line officials to prevent Rucker from going on the trip.

On December 5th, a person who knew of Rucker’s intentions wrote to Roger Allard, the UK-based Chairman of Voyages of Discovery alerting him to Rucker’s plans. On December 20, Allard wrote back essentially claiming there’s nothing he can do.

“We would be unable to prevent any passenger from boarding unless their behavior at the time of boarding causes concern” Allard wrote.

“That’s absurd,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “If this is true, convicted mass murderers can sign up for Discovery cruises and as long as they behave on board, can be assured they’ll have wonderful vacations.”

“Thank goodness that airlines care more about public safety than cruise lines do,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “It’s crazy for Voyages of Discovery to pretend they have to ignore serious wrong-doing and let anyone who plunks down the cash go on one of their trips.”

Catholic officials have said that Rucker is supposed to be confined to a Catholic-run nursing home, Nazareth House, in Los Angeles.

In 2009, SNAP says, Rucker took another vacation aboard the prestigious Holland America World Cruise. SNAP only learned of that trip recently.

He is believed to be in his 80s, but that is little reassurance to SNAP leaders.

“There’s no magic age at which a child predator is magically cured,” said Dorris. “Many pedophiles actually get more dangerous with age, because they become more shrewd and cunning and effective as they gain more experience.”

And few parents, Dorris pointed out, “suspect a slow-moving, grey-haired, well-spoken avuncular man of being a dangerous criminal.”

Some cases against Rucker were settled in December 2006 as part of a $60 million settlement involving 22 accused Los Angeles priests. Other cases against him were resolved in a massive July 2007 settlement that totaled $660 million.

“Voyage of Discovery” has an office in Ft. Lauderdale (866 623 2689.)

Here’s information about the upcoming cruise:

A list of Rucker’s assignments (provided by is below:

1950-51 St. Alphonsus Catholic Church Los Angeles
1952-55 St. Basil Catholic Church Los Angeles
1956-59 Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church San Pedro
1960-61 St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church Camarillo
1962-62 Absent on Sick Leave
1963-67 St. Anthony Catholic Church El Segundo
1968-68 Holy Trinity Catholic Church Los Angeles 1969-70 Holy Cross Catholic Church Los Angeles
1971-79 St. Agatha Catholic Church Los Angeles
1980-2002 Corpus Christi Catholic Church Pacific Palisades

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