Woman Reports 1960s Priest Abuse

Associated Press, carried in Cincinnati Enquirer
February 9, 2006

ATHENS, Ohio - A woman reported to police this week that she was abused by her Roman Catholic priest in the 1960s when she was a young girl.

Carol Zamonski, 42, of Columbus, made the report because she wanted to inspire others to come forward, she said Wednesday.

"It seems that it's a time in the world that this movement to hold the Catholic Church accountable and help children be safe in the future is gaining momentum," Zamonski said.

She told police Tuesday that the Rev. Robert Marrer sexually assaulted her when she was 3 years to 6 years old and living in Athens. Her family lived on property owned by Christ the King Parish, and her parents were close friends with Marrer, often sending her to spend time with him, she said.

"At that young age, I just figured my parents knew this was happening and that it was OK with them," she said.

In 1995, someone reported abuse by Marrer from the 1960s to church officials and received pastoral care, the Diocese of Steubenville said in a statement. Marrer was priest of Christ the King Parish in Athens from 1966 to 1970, left the priesthood to study for a doctoral degree in 1971 and died in 1996.

Zamonski said she did not file the report to try to elicit a response from the diocese.

"I just want other people to know that if this has happened to them it's not their fault," Zamonski said. "It can be really helpful for them to talk about it."


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