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SNAP Opposes Potential Convict Transfer

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Corrections officials in Nevada may send a Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexual abuse to a private treatment facility in Jefferson County, Missouri, and that has drawn an angry response from a local victims' rights group.

In May, Father Mark Roberts of Henderson, Nev. was sentenced to three years probation for abusing five teenagers.

Missouri officials have approved his transfer to Recon in Jefferson County, but Nevada authorities must also give the go-ahead.

David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says one of Roberts' victims lives in the St. Louis area, and the priest could still be a threat.

"We think he should be treated like every child molester," Clohessy said. "He should be locked up behind bars, because that's what keeps kids safe."

Tim Kniest, a Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman, says Roberts would be supervised and not allowed to leave Recon.

"They would provide close supervision," Kniest said. "My understanding is that an individual at that particular facility is not allowed to leave the facility unless they are accompanied by a staff person."