Saturday, June 26, 2010

Woman claims area priest abused her 50 years ago

Woman claims area priest abused her 50 years ago
Abuse occurred while attending school at St. Albert, woman says.

Lisa Powell/Staff photographer Colleen Powell of the Louisville, KY area and members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) held a press conference Friday June 25 at the Kettering Police Dept. Powell alleges she was sexually abused by a priest when she attended St. Albert the Great parish as a child from 1960-1961. Powell says she suppressed the memories of the alleged abuse until 1997. The priest is no longer living.
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By Jeremy P. Kelley, Staff Writer
Updated 1:53 AM Saturday, June 26, 2010
KETTERING — A Kentucky woman said Friday, June 25, that she was sexually abused by a Catholic priest at St. Albert the Great Church 50 years ago.

Colleen Powell, who was raised in Kettering as Ann Colleen Gibbons, said she was abused multiple times when she was in fifth and sixth grades at St. Albert in 1960-61.

Powell announced the accusations with members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in front of Kettering police headquarters. She declined to name the priest, saying she first planned to file a report with Kettering police this weekend.

Powell said she repressed the memory of the abuse until 1997. In 2002, she wrote to then-Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk and then-St. Albert pastor, the Rev. Jim Manning, to tell them about the abuse. In 2007, she corresponded by e-mail about the alleged incidents with the Rev. Joe Binzer, the archdiocese’s chancellor. According to copies of those e-mails, the priest served in the Dayton area for more than 40 years and died in 1993.

Dan Andriacco, communications director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, said his office would not name the priest, but said he was aware of the claim.

Andriacco said the archdiocese is not aware of any other allegations against the priest in question. He added that Binzer recalled forwarding the allegations to prosecutors in 2007.

Powell, who is a member of a Catholic church in Louisville, said she does not intend to sue or seek money, but wants “to let the Catholic Church know that there are predator priests in their ranks” and to encourage others who have been abused to come forward.

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