Twice a Victim

Hartford Courant [Hartford CT]
October 7, 2003

How unfortunate that the young woman who was allegedly assaulted by a priest in New Britain is the target of a vicious whispering campaign.

Some city residents, notably supporters of the Rev. Roman Kramek, have spread ugly rumors that she not only invented the story of the December 2002 sexual assault but that money motivated her claim.

The New Britain High School senior, who is supported by her grandmother, also lost her job at a local shop after the priest's arrest and has been shunned by some community members.

The ostracism of this teenager has put a halt to efforts by a national organization for survivors of clergy abuse to present her with a $3,000 check to help defray her expenses. Meanwhile, backers of Rev. Kramek have raised tens of thousands of dollars for his defense.

Those who wonder why so many women who are victims of sexual assault are reluctant to press charges and identify their assailants should look no further than the case of this high school student.

It should be left to a judge and jury to decide whether the priest is guilty of sexual assault. To treat the young woman as a pariah and as a villain only serves to victimize her again.

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