|Man Sexually Abused by Priest in 60s Speaks out
Jeffrey Hall Says Priest at Bishop Moore High School Abused Him
May 30, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. — A man who said he was sexually abused by an Orlando priest in the 1960s spoke out about his ordeal for the first time on Saturday.
Jeffrey Hall said he was molested by a priest with a history of abuse allegations, and Hall said the diocese covered it up.
He said he would like others to come forward.
Hall and other victims sued the Diocese of Orlando for $5 million, and he has kept his face hidden until now.
"I was invited to spend the night and sleep with him," Hall said.
Hall said that while he was a junior at Bishop Moore High School in the 1960s, he was sexually abused by a priest. He and his mother said that they reported the incident to the diocese, but church officials kept the incident quiet.
"It took the lawsuits to bring attention, for them to finally come out," Hall said.
Hall stepped forward on Saturday with the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.
"I came forward for every person I knew at Bishop Moore at that time," Hall said. "I want them to understand (that) if they did have something happen to act."
Hall accused Vernon Uhran of the abuse and sued the diocese. The diocese recently settled, and said that Uhran, now retired, was removed from the ministry in 1992.
The leader of SNAP said it wants the current Bishop Thomas Wenski to respond to other recent sexual allegations.
Wenski the following statement: "We pray that these alleged victims, no matter what the outcome of their specific cases, will become survivors and obtain the healing they need. We encourage those who have experienced abuse to report the information to law enforcement and speak to the Diocesan victim assistance coordinator."
Hall said that's what he did.
"The church was wonderful, offering me counseling and help," he said.
The diocese provided the number 407-246-7179 to speak with a victim assistance coordinator for anyone who may have been a victim of sexual abuse.
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