The Diocese of Bridgeport recently settled a clergy sexual abuse claim against the late Monsignor William Genuario, in the amount of $725,000. Monday the survivor of that abuse, maintaining anonymity, spoke out for the first time.
“I was in such bad shape I was on the verge of death. I was about to die,” said the survivor, referencing the years of emotional torment he’s suffered through.
As an 11 year old in 1988, the man, now 42, says he was sexually abused multiple times by Genuario, at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Greenwich.
“From 1978 to 1987 he was vicar general and he’s a child molester and that should be added to his resume,” said the survivor’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.
In the years since his molestations, the survivor says his life has been “infested with horror.”
“I have been under a total, I guess you can say, a demonic kind of life that I’ve lived after the abuse took place,” he said.
A report released last week by the Bridgeport Diocese revealed 281 victims of sexual abuse by clergy over the past 65 years within the that diocese.
“This is an epidemic, that’s going on right now,” added the survivor. “There are so many people out there that are suffering and dying inside.”
The independent investigation found 71 priests within the Bridgeport Diocese who were credibly accused of sexual abuse. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 18 years old.
Garabedian though, is not satisfied with the report.
“It’s time for the diocese of Bridgeport to release all files in its possession, which it hasn’t previously released, concerning not only Monsignor Genuario But all priests and all sexual activity within its dioceses,” he said.
The investigation was conducted by retired Connecticut Superior Court Judge Robert L. Holzberg, Because it was commissioned by the Bridgeport Diocese, Garabedian says it was not completely independent.
“Release all the documents. Give them to the police. Give them to the FBI. Let a truly independent investigation take place,” said Garabedian.
While Garabedian says the report needs more transparency, the diocese says they aren’t holding any information back.
“Every file in our diocese was handed over,” said Brian Wallace, director of communications for the Bridgeport Diocese. “Nothing. I repeat, nothing was held back.”
Wallace says the judge had total complete access to every record.
“Judge Holzberg had totally unfettered access to 250,000 different records. Nearly a million bits of information,” added Wallace.
The survivor who spoke today says he did not come forward with his claims seeking a monetary reward. He says his objective is to get the word out so that others can heal too.
“Let this out,” he said. “Do not hold it in. Because it will destroy you and it will eat you up and it will kill you eventually.