The U.S. Sun [New York NY]
May 16, 2023
By Rachel Dobkin
A SURVIVOR of a Baltimore Catholic Church priest’s sexual abuse has spoken out about the horrific way he would silence his victims.
Father Joseph Maskell was a counselor and Catholic priest at Archbishop Keough High School in Maryland who abused girls like Teresa Lancaster, who attended in the late 1960s to early 1970s
Lancaster, now 69, is an advocate for sex abuse survivors after building up the courage to break her silence about the abuse she faced at the hands of Maskell.
“I went to the counselor at Archbishop Keogh to get some advice about some problems at home,” Lancaster exclusively told The U.S. Sun.
“When I went in there, he closed the door and took all my clothes off, and sat me in his lap within five or 10 minutes,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster called Maskell a “serial rapist” who abused multiple children, not just girls, but boys too, calling the cycle of abuse at Keough High a “sex abuse ring.”
Maskell was able to continue his abuse by scaring his victims into silence.
“I didn’t come forward because I was scared,” Lancaster said. “I was 16.”
“Maskell would put a gun on his desk and tell me he wasn’t afraid to use it,” she said.
Lancaster recalled his threatening behavior: “He told me that if I told anybody, nobody would believe me over a priest and that nobody would miss me if I just disappeared.
“Plus, he also said he’d have me put into mantras […] they called it a school for bad girls at the time.
“So, I was just terrified,” Lancaster said.
CYCLE OF ABUSE
In early April, Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown released a report detailing 156 alleged sex abusers within the Archdiocese of Baltimore, who authorities claim molested more than 600 children for over 60 years.
Lancaster said that the report stated that “Maskell was a known abuser back in 1966.”
However, Maskell denied any accusations of sexual abuse until his death in 2001 and was never criminally charged.
“He had abused boys at Our Lady of Victory and St. Clemens,” Lancaster said.
She said: “When the church found that out, they transferred him to Keogh, an all-girls high school.
“Maybe they figured he wouldn’t bother the girls, but he was a pedophile and he didn’t care who it was.”
“So, this is a priest that all through his priesthood abused males and females and the church turned a blind eye to it,” she said.
TURN A BLIND EYE
Lancaster said the Archdiocese also played a role in quieting its sex abuse scandal.
“The church wanted to silence what he was doing to protect themselves,” she said.
The names of church leaders were blacked out in the attorney general’s report released to the public.
“They redacted all their names, the people that enabled Maskell to continue to abuse,” Lancaster said.
Lancaster is calling for the names to be unredacted.
“They knew and they let it happen,” she said.
In April after the report was released, Attorney General Brown said that church officials have the ability to release the 10 redacted names.
“To be clear, the redactions were done pursuant to the requirements set forth by a court order.
“The archdiocese can, at any time, publish those 10 names on their website as individuals who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse, yet they have not done so, despite having the full and completed report since November, as well as information about those 10 individuals for many years,” Brown said.