Woman Claiming Sexual Abuse By Father Maskell Speaks Out
By Denise Koch
November 21, 2016
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The accusations against Father Joseph Maskell, who served as the guidance counselor at Archbishop Keough High School, date back to the 1960s and 70s.
At least a dozen victims who claim they were sexually abused by Maskell have received settlements from the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Donna Von Den Bosch, who says she suffered unspeakable abuse, got $40,000.
In 1970, when she was just 14 years old, Von Den Bosch was a bright, excited freshman at the school.
Just as her new life was beginning, it descended into hell.
She opened up to WJZ’s Denise Koch, telling her how she was served a drug-laced soda at a Catholic youth picnic, then raped by Maskell and another priest.
“I’m just woozy, I fall down, he lays on top of me, he puts his legs in between my legs to spread my legs apart and rapes me,” she says.
“Here’s this parish priest that I’ve known since I was 12 and it’s all so confusing. And this would go on for the next three years.”
She would hear her name called over the loud speaker of the school, telling her to report to Maskell’s office.
“Sometimes I would go in and be raped, sometimes he would have a Coke. I would be drugged most of the time. He would keep guns in his top drawer… he would threaten me with them.
When asked if Maskell took her faith as well as her innocence and her education, Von Den Bosch says yes.
“… because maybe I could have grown up Catholic and been happy and… I had to teach my kids, you don’t just trust people because they have a collar on or something. Monsters hide.”
“This has to stop,” she adds. “People have to take responsibility. I hope they find out the terrible deeds that were done and justice be served. I also hope that other survivors hear that you can survive, you can move on. Don’t be fooled into silence.”
Archibishop Keough merged with Seton High School in the late 1980s and became Seton Keough High School, which is scheduled to close next year.
Maskell denied an initial accusation of abuse before his death in 2001.
Sheldon Jacobs, an attorney representing people who have alleged Maskell abused them, says about a dozen of them have reached settlements with the Archdiocese of Baltimore within the past few months.