Woman claims abuse by priests started when she was 7

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report released Tuesday details years of sexua abuse of children by Catholic priests.

Two years in the making, the report is alomst 900 pages long and alleges that more than a thousand children were abused by 300 so-called “predator priests” over a period of decades. A California woman who grew up in Western PA says she is one of those victims.

Alleged Abuse Victim Heather Taylor says,  “I hate the catholic church. I have no respect for them.”

Taylor says she grew up in Baldwin Borough but now lives in SanDiego, California. She says she attended St. Gabriel Catholic School and the abuse started when she was fondled by the late Father Lawrence O’Connell when she was 7 years-old.

“Father O’Connell. It was probably 1975, ’76, in the rectory.”

Taylor says those encounters happened at least a half dozen times.And then Father Edward Huff became the priest in the early 80’s. She says he lured her into the church rectory and also fondled her at least a half dozen times.

“He would put his hands on me and he would put his hands underneath my uniform.” Taylor says Huff threatened not to allow her to participate in mass if she told anyone what happened.

“I was told by numerous priests and nuns that if I was to say anything to anybody, that I would go down the drain. The Pope can say whatever he wants. There’s no apology in the world that can take away … everything I’ve gone through.”

Both Father O’Connell and Father Huff were named in the Grand Jury Report last week.


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.