Victim Says Catholic Priest Preyed on Deaf Children
Disclaimer: This is written without comment for deaf and parents of deaf to be more aware that some people do take advantages of Deaf people, especially deaf children. Edited from newspaper. All true names are withheld to protect the people. SWM uses false name of John Doe. Printed for your information – TC, SWM.
March 27, 2010 – ST Francis, Wisconsin
John Doe (not true name) says the first time the priest molested him, he was 12 years old, alone and away from home at a school for the deaf. He says he asked the Reverend to hear his confession, and instead the priest took him into a closet under the stairs and sexually assaulted him. Mr. John Doe, now 61, was one of about 200 deaf boys at the St John’s School for the Deaf just outside Milwaukee who say they were molested by the priest decades ago in a case creating a scandal for the Vatican and threatening to ensnare Pope Benedict. Some of the allegations were made public years ago, but they received attention this week after documents obtained by The New York Times. The priest died in 1998, at age of 72. Mr John Doe said the priest preyed on him during the 1960s. The priest was fluent in sign language and often told the boys they were handsome. He said he avoided the priest as much as he could afterwards, but when he went to his office the following year to make another confession, the priest sexually assaulted him again. He said that the priest assaulted him a third time the next year in his dormitory room. Other boys were similarly assaulted, he said. ”They would sleep in a large open room in bunk beds.” John Doe saw other boys being molested, too. They’d never talk about it. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has paid compensation to the priest’s victims. John Doe said he had suspected that the priest targeted deaf boys whose parents were not deaf. Back then, he said, those parents did not know how to communicate with their deaf children, so the children were less likely to expose the priest’s actions. – Associated Press