September 27, 2018
By Cecily Hilleary
Elsie Boudreau was 10 years old that afternoon in 1978 when Father James Poole called her and two playmates into the office of a small radio station he had founded in Nome, Alaska.
“He had us line up against the wall and began asking us questions,” said Boudreau, who grew up in St. Mary’s, a tiny Yup’ik village in northwest Alaska where Poole had earlier served as pastor. “Then, he told the two other girls that they could leave, but that I should stay. He said it was because I was so much more mature than the other girls.”
The abuse began with hours of French kissing and later escalated, lasting nine years.
“I have a memory of him being on top of me in a super high bed,” Boudreau said. “I must have had an out-of-body experience, because when I look back, I’m actually hiding behind a door, peeking out, seeing myself in bed with him, a little girl with long hair in braids.”
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