Dead Priest Accused of Raping Women Years Ago

By Emily Vance
The Post [Ohio]
February 27, 2006

A Columbus-area woman has come forward and reported being raped by a priest at Christ the King University Parish in Athens almost 40 years ago.

Carol Zamonski, 42, reported the rape to Athens Police Department two weeks ago.

The Rev. Robert Marrer, was assigned to Christ the King Parish, 75 Stewart St., from 1996 to 1970, according to a news release from the Diocese of Steubenville.

Marrer left the priesthood in 1971 and died in 1996, according to the release.

Monsignor Gerald Calovini, communications director for the Steubenville Diocese, declined to comment.

The incident happened between 1966 and 1969, when Zamonski was between three and six years old, according to a police report.

During those years, her family rented property on Stewart Street that was owned by the church while her father was a doctoral student at Ohio University, Zamonski said.

Her parents became good friends with Marrer and often accepted his offers to baby-sit Zamonski, who was the oldest of three children, she said.

"It was a really busy household with a young mother," she said. "When a priest offers his help, you think he's trustworthy."

Zamonski said her mother told her that Marrer often took her places in his car, but she said she didn't remember exactly where the reported rape took place.

Zamonski said she doesn't think her mother always knew where she was going either.

Zamonski said she suppressed the incident until she was 30 but that the memories of the incident are now very clear.

"I can see his face; I can see the place we were at," she said.

The diocese has paid for her therapy since the mid-1990s, Zamonski said.

Judy Block Jones, a support group leader for the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, said she has provided counseling for at least nine victims of abuse by priests in the Steubenville Diocese, including Zamonski.

The Diocese doesn't acknowledge all reported incidences of abuse but often pays for victims' therapies with few questions, Jones said.

According to a study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, 17 people made allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against 13 priests in the Steubenville Diocese from 1950 to 2002.

"It's worse than you can even imagine," Jones said. "They have appeared to be this squeaky clean diocese, but we think it's probably the pit. The people are just still so quiet that they have been able to get away from it for a long time."

Zamonski said she made the police report "to add strength to this voice that's requiring the church to change its policies," concerning priests who are sex offenders.

"Right now is sort of a moment in history where a lot of people are trying to kindly or not so kindly ask the church to please be more responsible in the way they expose children to people who are known sex offenders," she said. "The church really needs to change their policies, and they're not doing that quickly enough."

APD Chief Richard Mayer said APD is investigating the incident, but charges cannot be brought against a person who is deceased.


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