Fifteen years after the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston broke into public view, hundreds of victims around the world continue to come forward, including some who say they were attacked as recently as 2001, advocates said Thursday.
Two victims’ support groups and a lawyer who has represented more than 2,000 survivors worldwide denounced church officials for doing too little to help those who were abused and to protect children from harm, despite ongoing revelations about the scope of the crisis.
“You have reportedly the most moral institution in the world acting the most immoral,” attorney Mitchell Garabedian said at a news conference Thursday in downtown Boston. “There is no excuse for it.”
The event coincided with the anniversary of The Boston Globe Spotlight Team’s 2002 reports about former priest John J. Geoghan, who was shuffled from parish to parish despite evidence of his predatory sexual habits.
Former Pedophile Priest John J. Geoghan Brutally Murdered in Prison…
…By A Convicted Murderer Who Was Molested As A Child
John J. Geoghan, the former priest and convicted child molester killed in a Massachusetts prison Saturday, was followed into his cell just after lunch by a fellow inmate who bound and gagged him before strangling him with a bedsheet, according to a union representative for prison guards.
The attacker, whom authorities identified as Joseph L. Druce, jammed the electronically operated cell door to prevent guards from opening it. He tied Geoghan’s hands behind his back with a sheet and gagged him. He then repeatedly jumped from the bed in the cell onto Geoghan’s motionless body and beat the defrocked priest with his fists.
When the officer on duty heard noises coming from Geoghan’s cell but could not open the cell door from the control panel at his station, other officers were summoned by walkie-talkie. It took several of them to pry open the door.
“It was pretty clear when they got in there that [Geoghan] wasn’t going to wake up,” Brouillette said.
The 68-year-old former priest, who was being held in a protective custody unit with 23 other inmates, ostensibly to keep him safe from the general prison population, was taken by ambulance to a hospital and pronounced dead at 1:17 p.m.
Since the 2015 release of “Spotlight,” a movie about the Globe’s investigation into the abuse scandal, Garabedian said he has heard from hundreds of new victims, including “dozens upon dozens” who accuse priests or employees of the Boston Archdiocese of attacking them.
“No bishop has been punished for protecting pedophile priests,” said Ann Hagan Webb, the Rhode Island coordinator for Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, who says she was abused by a clergy member. “As far as I can tell, the pope’s commission about child abuse has done absolutely nothing over the last few years of its existence.”