SNAP PSYCHIATRIST SENT TO PRISON
Catalyst May Issue 2011
Dr. Steve Taylor, a Louisiana psychiatrist who has worked with the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP), was recently sentenced to two years in prison for possession of child pornography. When this news broke, we had no choice but to respond to it.
How many more morally debased psychiatrists have worked or are working with SNAP? Did SNAP leaders know about the leisure-time activities of Dr. Taylor? When did they know and what did they do about it? It’s time we learned the truth. What we know already is nauseating.
In 2008, Dr. Taylor’s computer was seized by the authorities after they learned that he was downloading child pornography. He was jailed on 107 counts at the time, and in September of last year a grand jury indicted him. The court recently accepted a plea bargain from him.
Dr. Taylor got off easy, at least according to his own standards. In 2003, speaking for SNAP clients, he argued that the confidentiality of the confessional seal should not be respected by the law. In a contemptuous statement against the Catholic Church, he voiced his objections to a unanimous decision by the Louisiana House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice protecting the confidential communication of priests, ministers, rabbis and other clergy members. He said at the time that the seal has to be broken because “We have faces now.”
Bill Donohue addressed SNAP saying, “Well, SNAP, we now have the faces of the children your colleague downloaded to feed his sick habits. If breaking the priest-penitent privilege is something you support, will you now support turning over the patient records of Dr. Taylor? Will you support a probe of this matter? What if there is more evidence against him? What if there are more victims? You’re always looking for new victims, aren’t you? Strike when the iron is hot—who cares about psychiatrist-patient privilege?”