Ex-Boonville Resident Claims Double Life Resulted from Priest's Sexual Abuse

By Nate Birt
Boonville Daily News
August 25, 2009

Boonville -

The following is a brief of the story. For the full version, see the Tuesday, Aug. 25 print edition of the BDN.

Editor's note: This is the second in a four-part series documenting the BDN's interview with Mark McAllister, a former Boonville resident recently awarded a $600,000 settlement over claims he was abused by a priest while at Ss. Peter and Paul parish. The first article ran Monday.

A secret life

Former Boonville resident Mark McAllister said he never really fought Gerald Howard's sexual advances because "it never occurred to me that it was wrong."?

For months, McAllister said, Howard had occupied a position of trust and leadership in his mind. McAllister said his peers looked up to Howard because he wasn't like the other priests. He smoked and encouraged McAllister to listen to rock music and grow long hair, he said.

Nonetheless, McAllister said, his first sexual encounter with Howard left him feeling confused.

"It sort of seemed to go against the grain of my sexuality,"?McAllister said, "but at the same time, this powerful priest was telling me that I?was, in fact, bisexual."


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