One predator priest, Father Augustine Giella, groomed and sexually assaulted five girls from the same family — the Fortneys, of Enhaut, Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg. The abuse began in 1982, when Giella was assigned to their parish, but none of the girls talked about what happened until decades later.
The family received a settlement from the Diocese of Harrisburg. It was accompanied by a gag order. Only now, after the recently released grand jury on sexual abuse in Pennsylvania’s Catholic churches, are they talking.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported their story today. And in the same issue, the newspaper also told the story of Corey Leech.
Church lawyers for a deceased predatory Franciscan friar, Stephen Baker, attacked Leech as he testified in court about what happened to him. The young man became so despondent that he became hooked on heroin and died.
The Fortney report includes chilling videos of the women telling their stories. Both of these stories underscore the fact that the Catholic Church was more concerned about protecting the institution than protecting children.