Thursday, December 16, 2010

Still haunted
Man Says He’s Still Haunted by Memories of Sexual Abuse

Last Update: 12/15 6:49 pm

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BROWNSVILLE – It’s a sexual abuse lawsuit more than 30 years in the making. The man says his childhood is scarred. He kept quiet for years. Now he's fighting back.

“I was gonna take this to my grave. I was not going to tell a soul,” says Hector Stone.

Stone says returning to this place brings back horrible memories. It's where, he says, emotional scars were made.

“I have nightmares. I can't sleep. I don't trust anyone anymore. It's just taken a big toll on my life, and today is the day that I need to start healing and take my power back,” says Stone.

Stone and another man claim they were sexually abused here as children. He blames the Knights of Columbus for hiding it back in the 1970s and ’80s. Stone says his youth group leader targeted him when he was 10.

“He sexually abused me in many locations, not only here. He did this to me at his home,” Stone says. “He had told me that if I ever told anybody, that he would hurt my parents and he brandished a gun.”

The Knights of Columbus organization released this statement to CHANNEL 5 NEWS:

"Although we have not yet been served with the lawsuits, we have obtained and reviewed copies of the complaints, and we emphatically deny the allegations that have been made," spokesman Patrick Korten says.

Korten goes on to talk about the accusations against the youth group leader.

"We first became aware of allegations of sexual abuse against him only one year ago, in December 2009. We acted immediately, removing him from any responsibility involving youth programs, and referring the case to Brownsville law enforcement authorities."

CHANNEL 5 NEWS checked with Brownsville police. They are aware of the allegations. The youth leader resigned this past January.

Stone's lawyer hopes his client can move on.

“The reasons victims come forward as adults are many, but most important for them is to protect children in the future,” says attorney Jeff Herman.

Stone wants that, too. He says after the abuse, his life spiraled out of control. He has battled drug and alcohol addictions and was estranged from his family.

“This abuse has just taken my life, and I've been living in silence,” says Stone.

Stone has been through several rehab programs. He's currently being treated in a central Florida trauma center.

Stone says he can't step into a Catholic church anymore. He has converted to Christianity where he's slowly building his faith.

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