Report of Rape by Priest Filed

By Justin McIntosh
The Marietta Times [Ohio]
February 18, 2006

A Columbus woman has come forward with claims of being raped by an Athens priest more than 30 years ago when she was just 3 years old.

After receiving counseling and pastoral care from the Steubenville diocese for the last 11 years, Carol Zamonski, 42, of Columbus, filed a police report with the Athens Police Department last week. In an Associated Press article, Zamonski said she went public with the allegation to inspire others to come forward.

The police report states Zamonski was raped from 1963 to 1966, though it wasn't until 12 years ago that she started remembering the abuse.

"At that young age, I just figured my parents knew this was happening and that it was OK with them," she said.

Zamonski's family lived next to Christ the King in Athens and her parents, were close friends with by Rev. Robert Marrer, often sending her to spend time with him, she said.

Monsignor Gerald Calovini, spokesman for the diocese, confirmed the report against Marrer, who was with Christ the King Parish from 1966 to 1970, when he left the priesthood to study for a doctoral degree in 1971. He died in 1996.

"This is the only allegation that's ever been made against him," Calovini said. "There are no others."

Calovini declined to say how much Zamonski's counseling has cost the diocese, but a 2004 church-sanctioned study shows that over a 52-year period the diocese spent $341,930 assisting victims of sexual abuse by priests. The report said the assistance was not paid for with general collections, the Diocesan Parish Share Campaign or the assessments of regular parish income.

The funds for those payments came instead from investments and the sale of unneeded property the diocese owned. Another $335,747 was paid for professional assessment and treatment of the individual priests accused of the abuses.

Zamonski's claim marks only the fourth abuse claim to be openly acknowledged by the diocese, though a study by the church two years ago showed up to 17 abuse claims were filed against the diocese since 1950. When the study was released, the diocese had declined to comment on specific cases or areas where the cases had occurred.

Two of the acknowledged abuse claims did not occur in the diocese, but did involve priests who were serving in the diocese.

Anthony Jablonowski, of 800 Strahler Road, Waterford, was convicted in a Wyoming court in 2004 of sexually abusing a minor. Jablonowski was a priest at St. John's Catholic Church in Churchtown and was also involved in the Carmelite Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, a religious community he established in Waterford. The other incident involves the Rev. Carl Peltz, a former associate pastor at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Marietta. The accusation against Peltz stems from his time on a U.S. Navy base in Iceland before coming to Marietta. The diocese acknowledged settling a civil case involving Peltz for $25,000 in 1993.

Last year, a Marietta man filed a police report with the Noble County Sheriff's Office alleging a priest there sexually abused him in Harriestville 38 years ago. The case is still under investigation.

Judy Jones, with the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation's largest, oldest and most active support group for women and men wounded by religious authority figures, said Zamonski only went to the diocese for help with her counseling on the suggestion of her therapist.

"Carol, until not too long, was going through counseling. She thought her parents knew this was going on and it wasn't jiving in her mind," Jones said. "Her parents were sending her to this priest and it was hurting."

The diocese covers 13 counties in eastern and southern Ohio, including Washington and Athens counties.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.