confirms decades old rape allegation of woman at S.A. church
By Sharon Ko
June 28, 2014
SAN ANTONIO -- A priest who was already convicted of
attempted rape and the sexual assault of a girl has now been tied to
an alleged case of abuse in San Antonio.
Recently, a woman came forward claiming the late reverend
Bruce MacArthur raped her when she was a girl in the late 1970's
at Saint James Catholic Church.
The San Antonio director of 'Survivors Network of those
Abused by Priests,' Barbara Boehland said the victim did not
receive any help from the church and instead, reached out to
"It takes awhile for people to come forward. It's a
shameful thing. It's embarrassing. You feel filthy. It takes a
lot of courage to come forward and we're really proud of this
person," said Boehland.
The Archdiocese of San Antonio confirmed it believes the
woman's claim and Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller responded in
a statement saying the church hopes "that any members of our
community affected by sexual abuse will be encouraged to seek all
needed pastoral support or counseling as part of their healing
"Well, that's the same old, typical church handling
all of this sex abuse. They need to really insist the victims go to
the police. It's not bishops or priests who can handle
this," Boehland told KENS 5.
Boehland said the apology from the archdiocese does not make
up for the fact that MacArthur was transferred to different parishes
during his time with the church.
"He has 20 different assignments, seven different
parishes and between that time, he did rape another victim.
We're sure there are other victims out there. They had their
chance to come forward about this, they've known for 10
years," said Boehland.
Boehland claimed his supervising bishops knew about
MacArthur's criminal record but permitted him to move forward
with the church
"There's people that can be held responsible for
this. There are people that can go to prison for this," said
Boehland said MacArthur was convicted of child sex abuse in
Wisconsin in 2008 and was also convicted of attempted rape of a
disabled woman in El Paso in 1979.