45 Years Later, a Measure of Justice for Navy Vet in Priest Sex-abuse Case
May 31, 2017
Peter Marghella was just 12 years old in 1973 when he attended "Camp Spes Mundi" in Hope Falls, New York. It was there that Marghella was raped and sexually abused by Father Kenneth O'Connell, the Boy Scout Chaplain of the camp and pastor of Saints John and Paul Parish in Larchmont until his death in 1984.
"He raped me, he sodomized me. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life," Marghella told FiOS1 News.
Marghella is just one of hundreds of victims who have come forward, taking his claims to the Independent Reconciliation Compensation program, created by Timothy Cardinal Dolan in 2016, for victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
However, Marghella's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented hundreds of victims of sex abuse, says that the program is simply a step in the right direction, not a solution to a much bigger issue within the Catholic Church.
"There isn't one victim I've ever represented who wouldn't give all the money back they've ever received in exchange for not being abused." Garabedian told FiOS1. "They all want the truth, they all want to know what the Catholic Church knew about, for instance, Monsignor O'Connell? When did they know it? Why didn't they stop him from abusing children?"
So far, 154 victims have submitted their claims to the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation program.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York said that he hopes the program will encourage more victims to speak out.
The deadline to file new claims for compensation is July 31.