Child Abuse

SC community shocked after Wilson pastor charged with sexual exploitation of a minor

May 21, 2019

Daniel Heath_1557499562781.JPG_87057604_ver1.0_640_360_1557542690935.jpg.jpg

How the hell can anyone still be shocked by the sex crimes of ‘holy’ men?

WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) — A community is in shock after authorities arrested a Wilson pastor and charged him with first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

This is all part of an ongoing joint investigation between the Wilson Police Department and the FBI.

Prior to his arrest, Daniel Heath, 33, served as an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Wilson for three years, and before that, youth minister for seven years.

Heath’s arrest warrant states he encouraged a 16-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity, and “perform sexual activities to herself for the purpose of producing material containing a visual representation depicting this activity.”

Authorities allege this all took place between December 2017 and April 2019.

It’s unknown if the victim is connected to First Baptist Church.

“This is a very hurtful time,” Henry Skinner, Chairman of Deacons at First Baptist Church said. “We’ve had to wrap our arms around each other, because of the feelings of hurt and grief.”

Skinner worked closely with Heath at the church. He said Heath was active as an associate pastor and youth minister, attracting members from all generations, especially young people.

“A younger group of individuals, who may or may not have been churched before, found their way here, and a found a place of worship and learning, and bible study that enriched their lives, and helped meet their needs,” Skinner said. “Daniel [Heath] was a part in recruiting that.”

Skinner said they’re embracing Heath’s family and the entire congregation at First Baptist Church to move forward together.

“A faith community lives on trust,” Skinner said. “A faith community has to trust in each other. They have to believe in each other, and when that is betrayed, when that falls away, it hurts.”

A federal indictment was also filed against Heath.

FBI officials told CBS 17 the case they investigated involved a victim from Texas.

Police Raid Dallas Catholic Diocese For Documents On Sex Abuse Allegations

May 16, 2019

លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ Edmundo Paredes

DALLAS (AP) — Police searched the offices of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas on Wednesday after an investigation into child sexual abuse allegations against a former priest uncovered claims against others, a police commander said.

Investigators searched the diocesan headquarters and also a storage unit it uses and the offices of a church, police Maj. Max Geron told reporters.

We believed at this point that the execution of the search warrants was wholly appropriate for the furtherance of the investigation at this point,” Geron said.

The events began last August with the investigation of Edmundo Paredes , a former priest who is believed to have fled Texas following claims that he abused three teenagers. That investigation resulted in allegations of abuse by others, Geron said.

A copy of the warrants obtained by WFAA-TV refers to the 70-year-old Paredes and four others. All five were named in a report released in January by the diocese that identified former priests credibly accused of sexually assaulting a child.

Paredes is suspended from the diocese; the other four are suspended, on leave, retired or stripped of clerical duties.

Geron declined to release details on the suspects, potential victims or when abuse may have occurred. He said Wednesday’s search was meant to turn up documentation or data concerning the allegations against the men.

Pope mandates reporting of sex abuse to church, not police

May 10, 2019

Because self-policing has worked so well in the past. Oh, wait…

Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with the dioceses of Rome, at the Vatican Basilica of St. John Lateran, in Rome, Thursday, May 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The pope continues to be a major part of the problem.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis issued a groundbreaking new church law Thursday requiring all Catholic priests and nuns around the world to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by their superiors to church authorities, in a new effort to hold the Catholic hierarchy accountable for failing to protect their flocks.

The law provides whistleblower protections for anyone making a report and requires all dioceses to have a system in place to receive the claims confidentially. And it outlines internal procedures for conducting preliminary investigations when the accused is a bishop, cardinal or religious superior.

Abuse victims and their advocates said the law was a step forward, but not enough since it doesn’t require the crimes to be reported to police and essentially tasks discredited bishops who have mishandled abuse for decades with policing their own.

It’s the latest effort by Francis to respond to the global sex abuse and cover-up scandal that has devastated the credibility of the Catholic hierarchy and his own papacy. And it provides a new legal framework for U.S. bishops as they prepare to adopt accountability measures next month to respond to the scandal there.

“People must know that bishops are at the service of the people,” said Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s longtime sex crimes prosecutor. “They are not above the law, and if they do wrong, they must be reported.”

The decree requires the world’s 415,000 Catholic priests and 660,000 nuns to tell church authorities when they learn or have “well-founded motives to believe” a cleric or sister has engaged in sexual abuse of a minor, sexual misconduct with an adult, possession of child pornography — or that a superior has covered up any of those crimes.

It doesn’t require them to report to police, however. The Vatican has long argued that different legal systems make a universal reporting law impossible, and that imposing one could endanger the church in places where Catholics are a persecuted minority. But the procedures do for the first time put into universal law that victims cannot be silenced, that clergy must obey civil reporting requirements where they live, and that their obligation to report to the church in no way interferes with that.

The global victims group Ending Clergy Abuse, or ECA, said the Vatican shouldn’t hide behind the argument that mandatory reporting to police is a problem in some countries.

“The church should establish the law for reporting and justify the exception,” said ECA’s Peter Iseley. “Instead, they are using the exception as a pretext for not reporting sexual abuse to civil authorities and to keep abuse secret.”

If implemented fully, though, the Vatican could well see an avalanche of abuse and cover-up reports. The decree can be applied retroactively, meaning priests and nuns are now required to report even old cases of sexual wrongdoing and cover-ups — and enjoy whistleblower protections for doing so.

Previously such reporting was left to the conscience of individual priests and nuns.

Canon lawyer Kurt Martens called the new law “revolutionary” by making sex abuse of minors and adults, as well as official cover-ups, subject to mandatory reporting.

“We owe gratitude to Pope Francis for this universal law of the Church, ensuring that a victim who wishes to tell his or her story cannot be silenced,” Martens tweeted.

Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability praised some of the provisions but said they weren’t enough, primarily because there were no sanctions envisaged for violations, and because the process remained entirely internal.

Bishops watching bishops does not work,” she said.

While there are no punitive measures foreseen for noncompliance, bishops and religious superiors could be accused of cover-up or negligence if they fail to implement the provisions or retaliate against priests and nuns who make reports against them.

The law defines the crimes that must be reported as: performing sexual acts with a minor or vulnerable person; forcing an adult “by violence or threat or through abuse of authority, to perform or submit to sexual acts”; and the production, possession or distribution of child pornography. Cover-up is defined as “actions or omissions intended to interfere with or avoid” civil or canonical investigations.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Vatican’s bishops’ office, said the inclusion of sex crimes involving adults was a clear reference to cases of sexual abuse of nuns and seminarians by their superiors — a scandal that has exploded recently following reports, including by The Associated Press and the Vatican’s own women’s magazine, of sisters being sexually assaulted by priests.

The pope mandated that victims reporting abuse must be welcomed, listened to and supported by the hierarchy, as well as offered spiritual, medical and psychological assistance.

The law says victims can’t be forced to keep quiet, even though the investigation itself is still conducted under pontifical secret. And in a novelty, the law requires that if victims request it, they must be told of the outcome of the investigation — again a response to complaints that victims are kept in the dark about how their claims were handled.

Victims and their advocates have long complained that bishops and religious superiors have escaped justice for having engaged in sexual misconduct themselves, or failed to protect their flocks from predator priests. Bishops and religious superiors are accountable only to the pope, and only a handful have ever been sanctioned or removed for sex abuse or cover-up, and usually only after particularly egregious misbehavior became public.

Last summer, the scandal over ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick epitomized the trend: McCarrick rose to the heights of the Catholic hierarchy even though he had credible allegations of sexual misconduct with adults against him that the Vatican had received. Francis defrocked McCarrick this year after a U.S. church investigation determined he sexually abused minors as well as adult seminarians.

The new procedures call for any claim of sexual misconduct or cover-up against a bishop, religious superior or Eastern Rite patriarch to be reported to the Holy See and the metropolitan bishop, who is a regular diocesan bishop also responsible for a broader geographic area than his dioceses alone.

Unless the metropolitan bishop finds the claim “manifestly unfounded,” he must immediately ask permission from the Vatican to open a preliminary investigation and must hear back from Rome within 30 days — a remarkably fast turnaround for the lethargic Holy See. The metropolitan bishop then has an initial 90 days to conduct the investigation, though extensions are possible.

The law makes clear he can use lay experts to help, a key provision that is already used in many dioceses. And it recommends that a special fund be set up to pay for the investigations, particularly in poorer parts of the world.

Once the investigation is over, the metropolitan sends the results to the Vatican for a decision on how to proceed.

The new law requires Vatican offices to share information throughout the process, since an untold number of cases have fallen through the cracks, thanks to the silo-like nature of the Holy See bureaucracy.

The procedures published Thursday are likely to form a key legal framework for U.S. bishops when they meet in Baltimore June 11-13 to adopt new accountability procedures, though it will certainly force them to scrap their existing proposals and make them conform to the new law.

Fugitive sex assault imam Hifiz Rahman jailed

May 3, 2019

Hifiz Rahman

An imam who fled the country after being convicted of historical sex attacks has been jailed for eleven and a half years.

Hifiz Rahman, 58, was found guilty of five sexual assaults at Queens Cross mosque in the West Midlands between March 1986 and August 1987.

He took a flight from Birmingham Airport to Bangladesh the day after his conviction last month.

Rahman was sentenced in his absence at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Judge Nicholas Cartwright said the father-of-seven from Netherton, who had not attended some of his trial because he claimed he was too unwell, had deceived his victims and own solicitors by lying about being sick.

‘Strenuous efforts’
Speaking about the offences, he said: “What he did was a gross breach of the trust placed in him.”

The court previously heard how Rahman, of Ballard Road, carried out “almost daily” assaults on one victim.

One woman, who was seven when the imam started assaulting her, said he was treated like a “god” by people associated with the mosque in Cradley Heath.

Hifiz Rahman was imam at the Queens Cross Mosque in Cradley Heath when the assaults took place in the 1980s
On one occasion, when she threatened to report him, he invited himself round to her parents’ house for dinner, she said.

Rahman’s passport was surrendered before the trial but a second one, unknown to solicitors, was used to fly to Dakar in Bangladesh.

Prosecution barrister Peter Arnold said “strenuous efforts” were being made to get him back to this country.

Vinny Bolina, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said it was in dialogue with its international division about the possibility of applying for an extradition.

Speaking after the sentencing, one of the victims said: “It’s over for now, we just need to get him back here to serve his time.

“His life is over and mine can now restart.”

Rahman was also told to pay £5,590 in costs and banned from working with children.

Former SC pastor arrested on six charges of sex with small children

May 3, 2019

William Oswald

LEXINGTON COUNTY — A former church pastor has been arrested on child sex charges stemming from incidents dating as far back as 1996, according to police in Lexington County.

William Oswald, 56, of Prosperity, was arrested and charged on multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, the South Congaree Police Department said Tuesday night.

Additional details about the arrest and allegations were not immediately available, but police said the charges stemmed from when Oswald lived in South Congaree from 1996 to 2001.

Oswald is jailed on six counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to Lexington County jail records, one of which involves a child under the age of 11 and three of which involve a child between the ages of 11 and 14.

Oswald was a part-time pastor at a church in Newberry, the South Congaree police chief told WIS.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, which involves a victim under the age of 11, carries a minimum of 25 years in prison and up to life, under South Carolina law.

Priest accused of sexual abuse arrested trying to leave Costa Rica

May 3, 2019

Police have arrested a former priest dismissed by the Vatican following accusations he sexually abused young girls in Timor-Leste.

Richard Dascbach, 82, who has reportedly admitted abusing children at Topu Honis orphanage he founded in Kutet in Oecusse district was arrested on April 28, according to local media reports.

The former Divine Word Society priest was taken to custody following mounting pressure from child activists and families of alleged victims, who expressed outrage he had been allowed to return last year to the orphanage he had founded, after the abuses came to light.

Doubts were expressed over the Timor-Leste’s government commitment to pursuing the case.

“I am relieved to hear he has finally been arrested,” a source and long-time supporter of the orphanage told ucanews.com on April 29.
“Justice has taken over a year in coming when the scandal broke,” said the source, who did not wish to be named.

However, many people in the community are still supportive of the former priest, because he is considered a “hero” for his contribution in the 1999 war of independence against Indonesia.

During the war, Dashbach led a local militia in protecting the locality and provided support for the community in many ways, including dispensing medicine and food to families in need.

He is even considered to have magical abilities and thus the people both revere and fear him. All of this makes the local people not want to believe the allegations,” the source said.

Before being taken away, police allowed him to say goodbye to the community, which was recorded in a video circulated on Facebook.
The source added that the new orphanage director, Liliana Tarung, was also arrested for attacking a former resident who she suspected of having reported the abuse.

It wasn’t clear who was looking after the orphanage in her absence.
Daschbach’s arrest came after Fokupers, a Timorese advocacy group that supports women and children, published an interview with a victim who gave details about the abuse last week.

The victim, who was 8 years old when she first went to the orphanage, said she and her friends were asked to sleep in the same bed as Daschbach, who she said would sexually abuse them.
She said they were afraid and respected him so they did what he wanted.

Timor-Leste police arrest US former priest for sex abuse

April 30, 2019

Timor-Leste police arrest US former priest for sex abuse

Police have arrested a former priest dismissed by the Vatican following accusations he sexually abused young girls in Timor-Leste.

Richard Dascbach, 82, who has reportedly admitted abusing children at Topu Honis orphanage he founded in Kutet in Oecusse district was arrested on April 28, according to local media reports.

The former Divine Word Society priest was taken to custody following mounting pressure from child activists and families of alleged victims, who expressed outrage he had been allowed to return last year to the orphanage he had founded, after the abuses came to light.

Doubts were expressed over the Timor-Leste’s government commitment to pursuing the case.

“I am relieved to hear he has finally been arrested,” a source and long-time supporter of the orphanage told ucanews.com on April 29.
“Justice has taken over a year in coming when the scandal broke,” said the source, who did not wish to be named.

However, many people in the community are still supportive of the former priest, because he is considered a “hero” for his contribution in the 1999 war of independence against Indonesia.

During the war, Dashbach led a local militia in protecting the locality and provided support for the community in many ways, including dispensing medicine and food to families in need.

“He is even considered to have magical abilities and thus the people both revere and fear him. All of this makes the local people not want to believe the allegations,” the source said.

Before being taken away, police allowed him to say goodbye to the community, which was recorded in a video circulated on Facebook.
The source added that the new orphanage director, Liliana Tarung, was also arrested for attacking a former resident who she suspected of having reported the abuse.

It wasn’t clear who was looking after the orphanage in her absence.
Daschbach’s arrest came after Fokupers, a Timorese advocacy group that supports women and children, published an interview with a victim who gave details about the abuse last week.

The victim, who was 8 years old when she first went to the orphanage, said she and her friends were asked to sleep in the same bed as Daschbach, who she said would sexually abuse them.
She said they were afraid and respected him so they did what he wanted.

Calif. Priest Arrested for Thirty Counts of Child Sex Abuse

April 20, 2019

A San Francisco Bay Area priest has been arrested on 30 counts of child sexual abuse, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday.

Fremont priest Rev. Hector David Mendoza-Vela was arrested last week, according to the sheriff’s office and the Diocese of Oakland. He was later booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he remains in custody.

The alleged abuse involving one child took place over an 18-month period beginning in 2016, according to the sheriff’s office. Mendoza-Vela was working at St. John’s Catholic Church in San Lorenzo at the time before being transferred to Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fremont.

“While we do not have all the details, the alleged behavior is in clear violation of the Diocese’s code of conduct and the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” Bishop Michael Barber wrote in a letter to parishioners of the Corpus Christi Parish.

Los Angeles Archdiocese Agrees To Record $8 Million Settlement Over Teen’s Abuse

April 17, 2019

Juan Ivan Barajas of San Gabriel, California, earlier pleaded guilty to felony statutory sexual seduction and was senten

Juan Ivan Barajas,, child rapist

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to an $8 million settlement with a teenager who was sexually abused by a teacher at an all-girls Catholic school in 2016.

The settlement is the largest amount the Los Angeles Archdiocese has ever agreed to pay a single victim of sexual abuse, the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday, and possibly the largest per-survivor award ever paid by a U.S. Catholic diocese.

The perpetrator, Juan Ivan Barajas, was an athletic director and health teacher at San Gabriel Mission High School, according to the LA Times. The victim’s lawyers said that Barajas began targeting the girl in April 2016, when she was a 15-year-old freshman. When Barajas’ wife discovered evidence of abuse on his cellphone in July 2016, he kidnapped the teen and took her to Las Vegas.

After five days on the run, Barajas was arrested by police. He later pleaded guilty to felony statutory sexual seduction and was sentenced to six years in prison.

The victim’s lawyers contend that even before Barajas began targeting their client, the high school and the archdiocese had received numerous complaints about his inappropriate behavior with minor female students. Some of those complaints from coaches and parents stretched back to the 2014-2015 school year, the lawyers said.

On Tuesday, the archdiocese said it recognized the “serious harm” done to the teenager and hoped the settlement would allow her to “heal and more forward with her education and lifetime goals.”

“The Archdiocese apologizes for the impact that this caused in her life,” the organization said in a statement sent to HuffPost.

Preschool At D.C. Synagogue Accused Of Enabling ‘Systemic’ Child Sexual Abuse

April 17, 2019

A preschool at a prominent Jewish synagogue in Washington, D.C., enabled sexual abuse against numerous children for years, a new lawsuit filed Monday alleges.

The families of eight children previously enrolled at Washington Hebrew Congregation’s Edlavitch Tyser Early Childhood Center say the preschool and its leader, Deborah “DJ” Schneider Jensen, failed to protect students from a child sexual predator over a two-year period, according to the complaint.

The families allege Jordan Silverman, a teacher at the preschool, subjected numerous children, including their own, to “regular and systemic” sexual abuse beginning in March 2016. The lawsuit alleges the children were between ages 2 and 4 at the time of the abuse.

The 74-count complaint alleges the abuse, perpetrated against both male and female children, included the most “grievous, demeaning and damaging forms of sexual abuse.”

“Mr. Silverman categorically denies engaging in any inappropriate or illegal contact with children at Washington Hebrew Congregation,” his attorney, Shawn Sukumar, told HuffPost. He declined to comment further. Silverman has not been charged with a crime.

Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia confirmed to CNN that an investigation into alleged sexual abuse of children at the school is currently ongoing.

Jensen, head of schools for Washington Hebrew Congregation, hired Silverman to teach at the preschool despite having no professional background in teaching or child care, the complaint alleges. Previously, he worked for 20 years as a photographer in Vermont, before moving to Bethesda, Maryland, according to the lawsuit.

Silverman was often alone with the preschoolers, the lawsuit alleges, even though child development centers in Washington are required to enforce a “two-deep policy,” which requires two adults to be present at all times if one or more children are present.

The policy is “the number one deterrent of children being abused in an institutional setting,” Michael Dolce, the attorney representing the families, told HuffPost. “It’s a very effective way to guard against the unknown abuser.”

But Silverman was “allowed and encouraged” by school administrators to be alone with individual or small groups of children on an almost daily basis, according to the lawsuit.

Dolce would not describe specific aspects of the alleged abuse, citing the ongoing police investigation.

Ex-Pope Benedict blames hippies for clerical sex abuse

April 12, 2019

Former Pope Benedict XVI (picture-alliance/dpa/S. Rellandini)

Really?!? Hippies are to blame? And the abuses prior to the 60s?

Ex-Pope Benedict XVI says the sexual revolution of the 1960s is to answer for child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. The former pope wrote in an essay that “absence of God” was behind acts of pedophilia.

Former Pope Benedict XVI has blamed the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal on the 1960s sexual revolution, growing secularization and weak church laws that protected priests in an essay published Thursday.

“Among the freedoms that the Revolution of 1968 sought to fight for was this all-out sexual freedom … Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of ’68 was that pedophilia was then also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate,” he wrote in the 6,000-word essay for Klerusblatt, a German monthly magazine for clergy.

“Why did pedophilia reach such proportions? Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God,” he wrote, noting failed attempts to include a reference to God in European Union treaties as a negative example of Western secularization

Benedict, born in Germany as Joseph Ratzinger, cited the appearance of sex in films in the ’60s in his native Bavaria and the formation of “homosexual cliques” in seminaries “which acted more or less openly and significantly changed the climate.” He also attributed it to failures in moral theology in that era.

Abuse scandals in Ireland, Chile, Australia, France, the United States, Poland, Germany and elsewhere have seen the Church pay out billions of dollars in damages to victims and close parishes, with many cases dating back decades before the 1960s.

The Vatican has been embroiled in the scandals. Most recently with the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, who was sentenced to six years in jail for abusing two boys in his native Australia.

Benedict, who in 2013 became the first pope in six centuries to resign, also faulted church laws that protected accused priests.

He wrote that during the 1980s and 1990s “the right to a defense (for priests) was so broad as to make a conviction nearly impossible.”

As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict led reforms of those laws in 2001 to make it easier to remove priests who abused children.

He took a hard line against clerical sex abuse as the Vatican’s conservative doctrine chief, and later as pope, defrocking hundreds of priests accused of raping and molesting children.

Benedict wrote in the introduction to the essay that Francis and the Vatican secretary of state had given him permission to publish. The Vatican also confirmed it was written by Benedict.

Writing in the Catholic Herald, associate professor of theology at The Catholic University of America Chat Pecknold praised the essay as a necessary word from “the voice of a father” that accurately identified an absence of God as the reason for the crisis.

But other church analysts said the essay was both flawed in content and exacerbated existing divisions in the church that have emerged between supporters of Francis and Catholics nostalgic for Benedict’s doctrine-minded papacy.

“It is catastrophically irresponsible, because it creates a counter-narrative to how Francis is trying to move ahead based on the 2019 summit,” Church historian Christopher Bellitto told The Associated Press in an email. “The essay essentially ignores what we learned there.”

Villanova University theologian Massimo Faggioli said the essay was thin in its analysis, which effectively attributed the scandal to the sexual revolution. He said it excluded key cases, such as the Legion of Christ founder’s pedophilia, which began long before then and involved abuse in one of the most rigorously orthodox, conservative religious orders.

“Everything we know in the global history of the Catholic abuse crisis makes Benedict XVI’s take published yesterday very thin or worse: a caricature of what happened during in the Catholic Church during the post-Vatican II period with all its ingenuities and some tragic mistakes,” he tweeted.

“This is an embarrassing letter. The idea that ecclesial abuse of children was a result of the 1960s, a supposed collapse of moral theology, and ‘conciliarity’ is an embarrassingly wrong explanation for the systemic abuse of children and its coverup,” Brian Flanagan, a theologian at Marymount University in Virginia, tweeted.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis has issued wide-ranging new sex abuse legislation that covers all Vatican personnel as well as those who work for the Vatican diplomatic corps. It aims to be a model for the church globally.

A special government inquiry on child sex abuse in Germany has demanded more dialogue on the subject after presenting its findings in Berlin. More than 80 percent of victims who spoke to the inquiry were women.

Pope Francis issues sweeping sex abuse legislation 29.03.2019
At the Vatican, Pope Francis has issued wide-ranging new sex abuse legislation that covers all Vatican personnel as well as those who work for the Vatican diplomatic corps. It aims to be a model for the church globally.

Fuck Ratzinger and fuck the current pope.

Women Sexually Abused By Catholic Nuns Speak Up: She Told Me It Was ‘God’s Love’

April 12, 2019

Sister Eileen Shaw (pictured above) was 21 years older than Trish Cahill when they first met in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

The woman introduced herself as Sister Eileen Shaw, telling Cahill that she was out on a walk from her nearby convent.

“She’s nice to me, which was confusing,” Cahill recalled.

The two struck up a conversation, Cahill said, which led to an invitation for the teen to play guitar at an upcoming Mass. That invitation led to more special treatment, private phone calls and private trips.

In fact, this strange encounter on the lawn was just the beginning of a long period of grooming and emotional manipulation, Cahill said. She didn’t realize until much later that the 12 years of history she had with Shaw was not a relationship ― but sexual abuse.

“She stole from my body, my mind and my soul,” Cahill, now 66, told HuffPost. “The woman was a thief who did not keep her vows.”

For over a year, the Roman Catholic Church has faced a reckoning over the crime of clerical sexual abuse. Catholics are once again demanding answers about bishops’ mishandling of abuse allegations, after high-profile scandals in the U.S., Australia and Chile toppled prominent figures. In response to this renewed call for transparency, Pope Francis acknowledged for the first time ever this February that nuns have been victims of sexual abuse by priests and bishops. Nuns from across the world have come forward to share their stories and demand change.

But stories like Cahill’s, about nuns being the perpetrators of sexual violence, have largely been lost in this new wave of accountability. Although abuse allegations against “women religious,” meaning nuns and Catholic sisters, are rarer than allegations against priests or monks, Cahill and other survivors of nun abuse are convinced that there are more stories out there. But because of gender stereotypes about female perpetrators of abuse, it is much harder to see the broader picture.

As survivors push more states to extend their statutes of limitations for child sex abuse cases, experts believe more of these stories will start coming to light.

“Why are they not coming out?” Cahill mused about fellow survivors of abuse by nuns. “They don’t have any other survivors to see what’s happened. They’re the only one.”

“The boys thought they were the only ones for a hundred years,” Cahill added. But now, she said, “the girls think they’re the only ones.”

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