Convicted bank robber Shamont Sapp has admitted in U.S. federal court that he falsely accused four different priests of sexually abusing him back in the 1970s.
Even though his crimes carry up to 25 years in prison, Sapp has negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors, and he will likely serve only 41 months, according to The Oregonian, one of only three media outlets to report this story.
Quite a character
We originally reported on the case of Sapp back in early February. While serving time in prison for ten bank robberies, Sapp not only drummed up four bogus abuse claims against Catholic priests, but he also filed a bizarre lawsuit alleging that Hollywood stars Jamie Foxx and Tyler Perry had stolen his idea for the lowbrow comedy film project Skank Robbers. (Thankfully, the movie never actually made it into production.)
Yet with regards to his attempted scam against the Catholic Church, Sapp found three of his targets by scouring old newspapers in search of priests who had already been publicly accused of abuse. He then filed lawsuits claiming that he too had been abused by those same priests.
Sadly, however, according to the Oregonian, one of the priests Sapp accused of abuse had never been accused before, and Sapp's bogus 2006 lawsuit terribly damaged the reputation of the innocent priest.
Too greedy for his own good?
Sapp's wild scheme eventually reached the point that he filed four money-seeking claims in four entirely different dioceses: Tucson, Arizona; Covington, Kentucky; Spokane, Washington; and Portland, Oregon. In some instances, Sapp actually alleged sexual acts that took place in those different cities on the same day.
One cannot help but wonder if Sapp hadn't composed a scheme that was so blatantly ridiculous and implausible, he would have got away with his scam. One, simple claim of abuse may have netted Sapp a nice settlement. As we have relayed before, one East Coast attorney once wrote:
"I have some contacts in the prison system, having been an attorney for some time, and it has been made known to me that [accusing a Catholic priest of abuse] is a current and popular scam."
And – surprise – the attorney actually wrote this in 2001.
Who knows how many such similar scams have been committed in the last dozen years against innocent priests?
Indeed, while anti-Catholic groups such as SNAP and BishopAccountability.org desperately strive to hide the truth from the public, it has been estimated that just in Los Angeles alone, as many as ONE HALF of all accusations against Catholic priests are either "entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not [support] a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse."