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“God’s Love” Feels Like Forced Sodomy: Victims of Child-Raping Priests & Their Attorney Speak of Unspeakable Suffering and Accused Molesters ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’

February 12, 2012 by Brett Wilkins in Crime & Punishment, Religion with 0 Comments

“This is what God’s love feels like,” one child-raping priest would tell his victim as he sodomized him.

Another parish priest forced his young victim to masturbate in front of him while he took pictures.

NBC Southern California spoke to victims of the massive epidemic of clergy abuse, as well as an attorney deeply involved in defending victims who says that hundreds of suspected church sexual abusers– accused but not convicted– are ‘hiding in plain sight’ in communities across California, with access to children whose parents have no idea who they are.

“Many if not all of these priests have admitted to sexual abuse,” Ray Boucher, the attorney, told the station. “They live within a mile of 1,500 playgrounds, schools and daycare centers.”

Boucher, who represents hundreds of alleged clergy sex abuse victims who successfully sued the Los Angeles Archdiocese of the Catholic Church for molestation, has created a map of sixty locations where suspected clergy sex abusers live. The map covers cities and towns across the Golden State, from Roseville near Sacramento in the north, to Oceanside just above San Diego in the south.

But none of the accused clergy has actually been convicted of any sex crime, so none of them can be identified under Megan’s Law.

“What the issue is here, is how you weigh the right of the people,” Boucher told NBC Southern California.  “In particular the right of children to be protected from molestation versus the right of privacy.”

Boucher’s clients gave harrowing descriptions of the horrific ordeals they faced as victims of child-raping priests.

“He forced me to masturbate while he took pictures of me,” former Oxnard police officer Manuel Vega told the station. He says that many people don’t want to face up to what clergy sex abuse is really about.

“When we talk about sexual abuse we’re talking about sodomy,” he told the station. “There’s pubic hair, there’s sweat, there’s smells, there’re grunts.”

Alleged abuse victim Dan Smith, whose marriage and life have been devastated by the abuse he says he suffered at the hands– and other parts– of a priest when he was a child, told NBC Southern California about what he endured.

“He would rape me and then say this is what God’s love feels like,” he told the station as he choked back tears.

Both Vega and Smith were among the 500 plaintiffs who sued the L.A. Archdiocese, forcing a $660 million settlement in 2007– a settlement which did not require the Church to admit any wrongdoing.

The settlement also left it up to the courts to determine which church files related to the case would be made available to the public. The judge’s ruling allows the Church to keep secret the names of priests who have not been convicted and who have only one or two allegations of sex abuse against them, or have allegations disputed by the Church.

Boucher alleges a Catholic cover-up in which accused priests have been allowed to retire, flee the country or find refuge in rehabilitation facilities until the statute of limitations on prosecutions expires.

“What the church did is take these guys and send them off to facilities where they treat pedophile priests without ever alerting police,” Boucher told NBC Southern California. “By enabling these priests to be hidden for so many years the church protected them from being prosecuted.”

 

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