New Victim of Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal Comes Forward
JULY 12, 2018 - 3:32 PM
J. Carroll Becker on July 12, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)
**WARNING: CONTENT MAY BE DISTURBING**
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Jane Carroll Becker is the newest victim to speak out following alleged clergy sexual abuse.
Becker, who was born in 1950 and currently lives in Grand Island, said that she was five years old when she was allegedly raped by Sister Pauline Terese at Christ the King Elementary School. She was always referred to as "Carroll" but said the nun would refuse to call her that.
"When I wouldn't answer when she was calling name she would get in front of my face and make me stand up," Becker told media on Thursday. "She'd yell at me about being stupid and retarded and slow. I was so terrified. I had no idea what was going on and I would wet my pants.'
Each of the first two times she wet her pants, she was sent home. However, the third time she soiled herself, Becker alleged she was taken to Terese's "cell", which was actually the nun's bedroom. It was at that point that Becker accused Terese of raping her using a crucifix.
"(Terese was) Saying that this will cure me from defiling God's property," Becker said. "Then she put a pair of her underwear on me and make me sit the rest of the day in class."
Because of the encounter, Becker said she felt shame and guilt. She continued to go to the school, where she said Sister Terese was still mean to her but would call her "Carroll". However, she was still picked on by her peers with the nickname "Betsy Wetsy".
She was later taken to the motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany shortly after the incident, describing her fear on the way to Allegany, and was apparently questioned about the incident while in the car.
"I had disassociated that event," she added. "I have dissociative identity disorder. I have PTSD as a result of this. I've had many dissociative episodes since then."
She said the rape was the only physical abuse against her. Becker described other mental and emotional abuses including being denied consideration as an "angel" because the nun said she was too fat. She said she didn't speak in grammar school until she was in seventh or eighth grade when she befriended a new student.
The physical scars still remain for Becker, who said she feels no pleasure or pain.
Terese died some time in the 1980s.
Becker was motivated to come forward after all the men who came forward with their abuse and wanted to share her story as a woman and her experience with the nuns. She contacted Jackie Joy, the victims advocate for the Diocese of Buffalo, who said her case was moved to the religious order. On May 17, Becker said she met for about 90 minutes with Sister Margaret Mary Kimmins, a Congregational Minister for the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany at the library at St. Joe's.
"That library is very comfortable," Becker said. "At one end there's a round table with chairs. At the other end there are couches and club chairs. She grabbed two straight-back, armless chairs and put them knee-to-knee in the middle of the room and said 'I think we're going to be most comfortable here'. I'm like 'Well, that's not what I think'. She had a red folder in it and I relayed this story."
She alleged that Sister Margaret told her she should take computer classes, knew her great aunt but didn't like her, and that Sister Terese left the order and married a janitor.
"She told me 12 times how smart I was and about four times how well dressed I was," Becker said while adding that she felt Kimmins was trying to intimidate her. "When she told me about Sister Pauline Terese, there was several minutes of silence that she looked at her folder. I had the very strong impression that there was more to this nun's story than she was telling me. When she looked up, she changed the subject."
She didn't hear back from Sister Margaret until June 13, who informed Becker there would be no compensation and short-term counseling.
"I told them that was not satisfactory because I had been in counseling since 1992," she said while adding that she had the counseling at her then-home in New Orleans. Becker now lives in Grand Island after her family lost their home from Hurricane Katrina.
Becker said she still has phone conversations bi-weekly with her therapist and she visits New Orleans for intensive therapy twice a year.
"I told Sister Margaret and Jackie Joy that that was all that I would accept," Becker said. "That was the least I would accept. They haven't called for me except for the next day. Sister Margaret called me on the phone and hung up before I could answer it. I haven't had any contact with them since then. Because of the Child Victim's Act, I have no legal recourse in New York State right now. I was advised to go to the media."
Becker's relationship with God has ruined and she said she wants to reclaim her power and get justice done.
WBEN reached out to the Diocese of Buffalo who deferred all questions on this subject to the Order of Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. We also spoke to Sister Margaret who would not provide comment other than what was issued by the Franciscan Order:
"The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany are aware of the allegations of abuse brought forth against a former member of the congregation. The Sister in question left the congregation in 1982 and has since died.
The Franciscan Sisters of Allegany are committed to respecting the dignity and well-being of each person. We acknowledge the sacred trust we hold because of our vowed life, and the power, influence, and authority that we hold in our ministerial relationships. We declare unequivocally that abuse of any person is unacceptable behavior and violates the rights of others.
We are currently following our Congregational protocol to investigate the matter. In order to respect dignity and privacy, we will not comment further at this time. "
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