In early 1981 (Feb. or Mar.) my mother evicted me evicted me during a drinking binge that did not see her with one sober day for several years. I was 15 years old. With no where to go I went to the parents of my childhood best friend for assistance. This is in my hometown of Newark , New Jersey.
After staying with them for a couple of weeks it was determined that my mother would not recant her decision to evict me. The parents of my friend decided that I would have to be placed in some type of “State custody” or into the hands of the Church. It was decided that the Church would be a better option as everyone had heard horror stories of the “youth house” and “State custody”.
I was taken and placed into the care of Father J____ N____ of St.R______ Church in Newark on Hunterdon Street. I was placed into his custody at the Rectory next door to the Church.
Father N_____ took me directly to the St. R_____ Outreach Center on Springfield Avenue and 20th Street in Newark. I was given a key and told that I would be staying there in the basement sharing living space with a couple of 20 or 21 year olds. Their names were “New York” [all I ever knew him as] and C___ H_____ AKA Kareem. St.R_______ Community Outreach Center was/is a homeless shelter for adult men and women. It doubled as an address for ex-cons to parole out to and live at upon release. It was unsupervised, providing no security or doors separating living areas. No meals or clothing were provided.
During my first night at St. R______ I was beaten severely and raped by the man I only knew as New York. He would beat, and rape me again several months later.
After staying in St. R______ for about 2 weeks Father N_____ began to visit my bed late at night. He would get into bed with me and fondle me. He stated very subtlely that I would be better off here than at the Youth House and that his powers as a priest were wide and far ranging. He proved this to me at a later date. He would more often than not leave me some money after one of his visits for food, laundry, etc. He would illicitly and illegally touch me in the Church sacristy, the rectory, in both rooming houses owned and operated by St. R_____, in his car, and of course in the homeless shelter. This would occur for nearly two years at an average rate of twice a month. During all this time I never saw anyone from the Archdiocese at the Shelter nor did I ever see the fire or police departments.
Father N_____ never had legal custody of me and I was never to step foot back into high school. He had contact with me at least 50 times and I protested and tried to spurn his advances every time.
A man named Mu-Min [all I ever knew him as] was made Resident Director by Father N_____. Mu-Min was an ex-con living at the shelter. He would beat and rape me when I was 16 years old. When I was 17 he dislocated my shoulder in a fight. The shoulder is in worse shape to this day and is about to receive an M.R.I. from the veterans administration.
Around 1983 I became big and strong enough to hold off all of Father N_____s advances and to defend myself from the other residents. By this time I was sexually involved with an older woman and she provided me with enough money and food stamps to survive. I joined the New Jersey National Guard in November 1983 and left the state of New Jersey.
During my stay at the Shelter; dating back to when I was 15, I began doing drugs. All types cocaine, heroin, marijuana, alcohol, mescaline, acid, pills, and cough syrup. While there I became addicted to heroin, cocaine and alcohol. I began to commit crimes while there with the adult residents. I struggle with drugs to this day. Father N______ knew, saw, and facilitated my drug abuse.
My life has been controlled by events, habits, and behavior picked up during my “stay” there. I have been to prison twice for 8 years each time. I am now 43 years old and just beginning to come forward with my life’s story. This is just the short version. Lol.
Father N_____ is dead now. He died October / 2008…just a short time ago. I was denied the opportunity to confront my abuser. The Archdiocese is culpable to a large degree and my focus is upon them to do something to ensure the protection of children…the integrity of their youth should not be robbed by any adult let alone a position of authority and respect.
I am free of my physical prisons (institutions and drugs). I am in therapy seeking freedom from the psychological and emotional prisons that have the greater impact upon my life. It is hard and sometimes I slip back into old fears and worries but I am improving. Look a year ago and no one knew…I am approaching a strength in which I will want the whole world to know through my own testimony; the dangers children face.
Well, thanks for letting me share my story…it helps to get it out and I hope that someone can empathize and realize they are not alone.
[Edited to remove full names.]
A mind once expanded by a new idea
never regains its original dimensions.
Edited by ModTeam (11/24/08 09:37 PM)