MA--Catholic teacher accused of abuse; Victims respond
For immediate release: Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016
Boston area Catholic officials are accused of committed and concealing child sex crimes by a female teacher against a girl. We hope this lawsuit will bring comfort to some, knowing that an alleged sex offender has now been “outed” and knowing that youngsters are now safer. We also hope this case will expose what her colleagues and supervisors did and didn’t do to protect kids. And we hope others who have information or suspicions about her crimes will come forward now to protect others and begin healing.
We believe Catholic officials were warned about Diane Ryszewski before she reportedly “sexually abused the then 14-year-old girl between 1975-1977” while both were at Marian High School in Framingham and lived together in Hopkinton. We also believe they could and should have done more to stop her wrongful actions.
All of us must accept the painful reality that women can be sexual predators too. We must also be careful to use appropriate language to describe these crimes.
We hope that
--her victim (or victims) feel some relief, and
--archdiocesan and school officials aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered this teachers’ crimes.
We also hope that Cardinal Sean O’Malley will
--alert his colleagues in North Carolina, where Ryszewski now lives, and ask them to warn families about her, and
--use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to contact the independent, experienced professionals in law enforcement.
Regardless of what Catholic officials do or don’t do now, we beg current and former school staff, students and parents to take action, rather than wait for and hope that O’Malley will step up. We beg everyone associated with this school, now or in the past, to spread the word about these charges against Ryszewski and prod potentially helpful sources and witnesses to call law enforcement immediately.
We suspect that Ryszewski could still be criminally convicted. If so, we hope she ends up behind bars as long as possible so more kids are safe. And we hope secular authorities will consider charges against anyone who may have ignored or hidden her crimes.
Finally, we applaud this brave, wounded but strong woman who is taking action today to safeguard others and deter similar crimes and cover ups now and in the future. It takes real courage to squarely face one’s pain and to publicly confront wrongdoers. We are confident that this lawsuit will be a positive step forward in her long journey of healing.
No matter what judges, prosecutors, school or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic or public schools to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(The victim is represented by Boston attorney Carmen Durso.)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Woman says Catholic school ignored sex abuse by teacher, coach
Woman files suit against Marian High School, Archdiocese of Boston
UPDATED 9:06 AM EDT Aug 03, 2016
BOSTON —A woman is filing a lawsuit claiming a former teacher sexually assaulted her for years, and claims school administrators knew it was happening and did nothing to stop it.
According to the lawsuit, the unidentified victim claims former Marian High School physical education teacher and sports coach Diane Ryszewski sexually abused the then 14-year-old girl between 1975-1977.
The victim claims the assaults occurred daily, according to the lawsuit.
Shortly after the victim started high school Ryszewski, who was her coach, took a strong interest in her and eventually . . .
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.
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.