Alleged victim of Father Huneck speaks exclusively with ABC21

WPTA - ABC 21 [Fort Wayne IN]

October 14, 2021

By Kaitlyn Kendall and Rose Yolevich

The second alleged victim in the investigation into a local priest who is facing several sex crime charges has now come forward.

Investigators say Father David Huneck groped two women inside the home provided to him by the church he was leading. The women say Father Huneck got drunk, touched them inappropriately, and exposed himself.

One of the two alleged victims was a minor at the time. The other was 19-years-old, Rose Yolevich.

Yolevich says she wants to shine light on what she has gone through. To show others it is okay to come forward, but she says this hasn’t been easy. She adds she has felt alone, distraught, and even blamed herself.

Yolevich says since coming forward that darkness has slowly dimmed. “I finally feel like myself again, honestly. I feel like I haven’t been myself in so long,” she said.

Part of who Yolevich says she is, is being a devout Catholic. Which hasn’t changed. “I am staying strong in my faith as well. I know it’s not the whole Catholic church, because this one negative experience.” Yolevich added, “You can lose your faith, or your faith can become stronger. I think my faith has become stronger. I know it’s not my faith, it’s not a certain group of people. It’s one individual.”

Father Huneck has resigned from both of his positions with Bishop Dwenger High School and Saint Paul of the Cross. He has also been suspended by the Diocese from all public priestly ministry.

He’ll be back in court on November 16th.

Yolevich says she hopes by breaking her silence, others who have been hesitant to do so will see it’s okay to come forward.

Yolevich released a statement about her alleged abuse.

Read her statement in full:

“As many of you already know, my name is Rose Yolevich, the first person to come forward to report being abused by Father David Huneck. I’d like to begin by thanking everyone who has supported me and reached out with overwhelming love and support. I’d like to especially thank the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese and those in the legal system for making this process run smoothly. This road has not been easy.

I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I am hurt, embarrassed, confused, and sad to have lost a trusted role model. Most importantly, I am relieved to finally be speaking up.

This is not the first time I have been in an abusive situation, but it is the first time I am breaking my silence, standing up for myself, and taking action.

Though it was a completely different situation, like last time, I’m taking it day by day. Healing is a slow process. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been so vulnerable in this type of situation. Abuse is an issue that goes on every single day, and that is exactly why I am speaking up. I’m sharing my story for the little girl I once was who thought she was worthless, like something had to be wrong with her. I’ve slowly learned that is not the case.

Something so precious, created by God with the purest intentions, was twisted for me at a young age. This has affected me each and every day of my life in my relationships, my actions, and my thoughts and feelings about myself. I am finally taking that back.

At times, I have felt alone, distraught, and even blamed myself. I didn’t know where to go, or what to do, so I kept it inside. I pushed it down in order to stay as far away from it as possible. It’s taken a considerable amount of time to voice this struggle, but now I know I’m not alone.

I have worked on me for a long time to get to this point. I was finally ready to speak out. I am ready to be a light to all girls affected by abuse. I want to help, just like I have been helped. I want victims to know that there is a light, even though it may not seem like it now.

As I have said, I have dealt with these things for a long time, and it caused a lot of distrust and self-hatred. I now know that there are people out there who want to help and will help if you reach out. So, my message to you is please use your voice to speak out. There is help and healing, and every human is deserving of that.”

Rose Yolevich, Alleged Victim

Kaitlyn Kendall anchors ABC21 news at 5 and is the chief investigative reporter for the stations Digging Deeper team.