Did Some Nuns, Teachers Know Of Child Sex Abuse In Baltimore Catholic Schools?
By Denise Koch, March 5, 2018, CBS Baltimore
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For some time now, WJZ has been investigating a dirty secret: child sex abuse at the hands of priests, police and a teacher back in the 1960s and 1970s. Many asked how it was possible that no one noticed.
Multiple sources have told WJZ’s Denise Koch that many people, including some nuns in positions of authority, did know about the abuse but instead of reporting it, they looked the other way.
It’s a dark chapter for Baltimore’s Catholic schools. Father Joseph Maskell, a counselor at Archbishop Keough High School, is accused of molesting dozens of students.
“I had a gun held to my head on several occasions. I was threatened with ‘I’ll kill your father, I’ll kill your grandparents, I’ll kill your dog, I’ll kill you,” Linda Tiburzi said.
She tells WJZ in the ’70s, John Merzbacher sexually abused her while she was a student at Catholic Community Middle School. Tiburzi was not alone. The Catholic school teacher, armed with a gun, blatantly assaulted other girls and boys.
It would take more than 20 years for him to be sent to prison where he’s now serving four life terms for child rape.
[Reporter: You believe that people knew?]
“I know people knew. I witnessed it with my own eyes. I was in eight grade, Merzbacher kept me after school…he locked the door, he tripped me to the floor, he straddled me, he unbuttoned my shirt blouse,” Tiburzi explains. “I was petrified, and then I heard the clicking of the door being unlocked. In walked Sister Eileen Weisman, and stood over the both of us. Her comment to him was, ‘Oh, John, I told you never to lock the door.’ And she looked at me and said, ‘You are never to stay after school again.'”
[Reporter: And she was a nun?]
“Well, I thought this woman was going to save me when she came in the door and she did absolutely nothing,” she said.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.