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Advocate for sex-abuse victims criticizes Polanski supporters

September 30, 2009 | 12:26 pm

Snap

A member of a group for victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy spoke publicly today, urging Roman Polanski’s quick extradition from Switzerland. Joelle Casteix challenged those who have jumped to his defense to speak with abuse victims.

Casteix said she was speaking out “to show our disgust … with those who have decided to say that protecting a child molester is more important than keeping children safe.”

Casteix is the Southwestern regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). The group had planned a larger rally outside the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, with several abuse victims and their families holding pictures of themselves at the age each was abused.

But at the news conference today, Casteix was accompanied by just one other group member and was the only one to address the journalists surrounding her with microphones, cameras and video cameras.

Casteix said they chose to hold the rally-turned-news-conference outside the district attorney’s office to show support “for those doing the right thing.” SNAP also is urging people to boycott movies and TV shows made by Polanski and his outspoken defenders.

Casteix said Polanski had been receiving special treatment because of his position in the film industry.

“Child molesters can be rich and famous,” she said. “But they also need to be held accountable.”

-- Raja Abdulrahim at the L.A. County district attorney's office

Photo: Joelle Casteix, of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, speaks to the media in front of the criminal courts building in Los Angeles. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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