Woman Accuses Dead Priest of Sex Abuse

By Kennan Oliphant
June 25, 2010

[with video]

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) - Colleen Powell,60, filed a police report Friday about sexual abuse she claimed to have experienced more than 50 years ago at the hands of a deceased priest.

Powell filed these claims although her alleged abuser, Father Walter Katarskis of St. Albert the Great Parish, died in 1993. The former Kettering resident said doing art work helped her deal with the repressed memories, which began to surface in 1997.

"Lots of times I didn't have the words to say I couldn't figure out what I was thinking," stated Powell "the action of drawing or writing let me know what I was feeling and what I was thinking," Powell added.

Powell said the abuse happened when she was 10 and 11 years old.

"The last time that I was abused by this priest his actions made me throw up and he got really angry at me and screamed at me and told me that I had sinned by making him do what he did to me," said Powell.

This isn't the first time the Kettering parish has dealt with abuse allegations by a priest. Father Lawrence Strittmatter was moved to St. Albert the Great parish after touching two boys at Cincinnati Elder High school in the late 1970's.

Powell, who never mentioned her suspected abusers name said she hopes others will step up if they were abused. Powell was joined Friday by the members of SNAP (Survivors Network of those abused by priests). 2 NEWS tried contacting the Cincinnati Archdiocese about the allegation. As of yet, no phone call has been returned.


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