• Local clergy abuse victims call for an investigation

    By: Siobhan Riley


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP is putting pressure on the Catholic diocese to tell the truth about former priests from across the state accused of sexually abusing minors.

    FOX13 traveled to Nashville where that group suggested the TBI and other outlets investigate.

    SNAP leaders met outside the courthouse in downtown Nashville.  

    They asked questions about honesty, integrity and transparency.

    Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.


    Trending stories:

    While the Catholic Diocese is working to recover after decades of sexual abuse allegations against minors, David Brown is losing faith in the group investigating the claims.

    Brown who has Memphis ties showed FOX13 a picture when from his childhood which he said brings back painful memories from 1961.  

    That’s the year he says he was sexually abused by a priest in Nashville.

    “In rural area out there, he would pick me up, take me off in his car, which is out highway 100, quite a ways away and that’s where he raped me,” he explained.

    Brown along with other leaders of Survivors Network of those abused by Priests told FOX13 the Diocese of Nashville isn’t capable of handling the investigation.

    “I don’t trust them to do their own investigation, I would like to see the special grand jury, state attorney general, district attorney investigates all three of these diocese,” said Brown.

    Last week, we first told you the names released of 13 former priests who served in the diocese accused of sexually abusing minors. The list is growing week by week. 

    “I’m begging diocese please do the right thing, stop these volunteer closures, open personnel files,” said Ron Deal, one of the advocates working closely with the victims.

    The Diocese of Nashville said several of the former priests have Memphis ties.  
    They were linked to churches in the Bluff City.  The priest brown says raped him also has Memphis ties.

    “He was in Memphis for quite a while, taught at Memphis Catholic,” he explained.

    Three more names, including one with Memphis ties were published to the Diocese of Nashville’s website Thursday.
    They say two of the priests who left diocese in Nashville are on lists published in other places but there’s no record of where those incidents happened.

    They say there’s no information about why the 3rd priest was removed.


    Memphis, Tenn - We are hearing from one of the victims for the first time who said he was sexually abused by two priests in Tennessee.

    This comes after the Catholic Diocese works to recover after decades of sexual abuse allegations against minors.

    FOX13 traveled to Nashville to speak with a victim who had no idea one of the priests he said raped him is still alive.  

    He said he knew almost every priest on that list who’s accused of sexual abuse.

    “This includes the names of father Joseph Reilly and Father Roger Lott, who sexually abused me,” said Mike Coode.

     Coode told FOX13 one of the encounters with Joseph Reilly happened in Memphis.  

    “He was a priest here at the cathedral in Nashville but he was from Memphis and he took me home one weekend and I stayed at his sister’s house and I was 12 years old,” he explained.

    Last week, we first told you the names released of 13  former priests who served in the diocese accused of sexually abusing minors in Tennessee.  

    Roger Lott and Reilly are on that list.

    Coode said he just found out minutes before we spoke with him in Nashville that Reilly is still alive.

    “I found out this morning, though he was dead all these years, they told me he was dead, but he’s alive and I hope I get to see him,” he explained.

    Code said Roger Lott also sexually abused him several times. 

    Coode has one message for the former priests.

    “Why, why did you do this, I would say that just why father Reilly,” he stated.

    Click this link to see the names of all the priests accused of sexual misconduct.  You can also find a statement from Diocese of Nashville.

    Next Up: