Man Speaks about Sexual Abuse by Priest

August 31, 2010

A local man says his life has been a living hell after he realized he'd been sexually abused by a Lansing priest more than 50 years ago. He spoke out about the alleged incident. Gregory Guggemos came forward as that victim. The former attorney got a settlement worth 225,000 dollars earlier this month paid by the Lansing Diocese.

Though the diocese won't admit the abuse happened, Guggemos says the sexual abuse occurred when he lived at Lansings' St. Vincent Orphanage from 1954 to 1955. He says Monsignor John Slowey, who ran the orphanage, is the man who assaulted him. Guggemos says he repressed the memories of what happened for decades. He says it wasn't until 1999 when he read several cases of sex abuse by priests throughout the United States--and visited the orphanage, that memories came flooding back.

Gregory Guggemos, sexual abuse victim: "When I saw his picture, I threw all the papers in the air and started crying uncontrollably. When i saw Slowey's picture, I had an immediate flashback to him, the orphanage, and one incident of being sexually abused. When I saw Slowey's picture and had the flashback, I immediate felt that all the questions, suspicions and fears I had for a number of years that I was sexually abused at the orphanage were confirmed."

Guggemos says speaking out is extremely difficult, but he wants to encourage other victims to come forward. The accused, John Slowey, died more than 25 years ago and the diocese says there are no other reported cases of abuse by Slowey.

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