Hudson Valley nun accused of sexually abusing student in 1960s

News 12 TV
December 10, 2019

[with video]

A former student at St. Joseph School in Middletown is accusing a former nun of sexual abuse dating back to the mid-1960s.

The accuser, Pamela Hayes, says she suffered for nearly five years at the hands of Sister Ann Peterson.

Peterson is accused of sexually abusing Hayes from 1963 to 1967, by "hugging, kissing, massaging, caressing and touching her breasts and genitals" according to court documents.

The lawsuit claims Hayes still feels "traumatized, ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated."

News 12 connected with Hayes over the phone, but she declined to speak about the allegations. Hayes' attorney has not yet responded to News 12’s request for a comment on this case.

After leaving the school in Middletown, Peterson became a board member at the former College of New Rochelle, as well as a trustee with the Ursuline School in New Rochelle.

Ursuline officials say in light of the allegations, Peterson voluntarily stepped down from her role there. In a statement, Ursuline officials said, "We are united in prayer and concern as a community at this difficult time for all the individuals involved."

The allegations against Peterson does not extend past her time at St. Joseph's.

Earlier this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victim's Act into law, extending the statute of limitations for a victim to sue for alleged abuse.


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