Victim Sexually Abused by a Priest Speaks Publicly
By Gina Mangieri
August 23, 2012
A man who anonymously sued a former Honolulu bishop and priest for sex abuse has come forward.
The alleged victim says he's putting a name and face to the case so other survivors can seek justice during a legal window that expires in 2014.
Mark Pinkosh and his family were devout Catholics who attended st. Anthony church in Kailua, and not just on Sundays -- every holy day, weekend and summer classes - even weekday mass where Mark was an altar boy. But he alleges his trust in the church turned to terror.
"When I was about 8 or 9 years old, Father Henry raped me, and it was very violent, it was very intense, and of course as an elementary school 4th grader it's very difficult to process that kind of stuff," said Mark Pinkosh, alleged victim.
He says he kept it quiet as he alleges he was instructed to do by Father Joseph Henry, now deceased. He didn't tell family but says he but did tell two nuns and two priests.
"Don't tell anyone else, we will take care of it, as a priest at the church your church will take care of you, don't worry about it," recalled Pinkosh.
He says he was relieved when a new priest joined the church that he thought he could trust, a man then known as Father Joseph Ferrario, also now deceased.
"I told him about the abuse that took place, he counseled me to keep it a secret," Pinkosh shared. "I shouldn't tell anybody, then he proceeded to rape me as well."
Ferrario would go on to head the church in Honolulu as bishop of the diocese from 1978 through 2003. Another alleged victim of these priests named David Figueroa sued in 1991.
"I thought I can substantiate his claim because it happened to me too," said Pinkosh.
That suit was dismissed. But a law that went into effect this April waives the statute of limitations for two years, a window for victims of child sexual abuse to file civil complaints.
"A chance for hope, a chance for help, and most importantly a chance to do something to protect other kids," said Jeff Anderson, attorney for plaintiff.
Plaintiff's attorneys are reaching out to find survivors who can file anonymously. Pinkosh filed suit as "John Roe 2" in June, but chose to speak publicly.
"There are dozens or maybe even hundreds of other people out there who have been through the same exact thing, and you need to know this is the time you can come forward," said Pinkosh.
The Honolulu Diocese and St. Anthony's church declined comment. The religious orders the deceased priests belonged to, named in the suit, did not yet respond to requests for comment.