Witness in Boonville priest sex abuse case recalls years of abuse
BOONVILLE — Mark McAllister hasn’t seen Gerald Howard in nearly 25 years. On Wednesday, McAllister hopes to see him again, this time from the witness stand. McAllister is expected to testify against Howard, a former priest at the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Boonville, who is accused of using his position of authority to systematically abuse and sexually molest McAllister and other boys.
Howard is charged with three counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of attempted forcible sodomy, and two counts of kidnapping and terrorizing for incidents that were alleged to have occurred between September 1983 and June 1988. Howard is being held on $1.5 million bond.
According to previous Missourian reporting, Howard, formerly known by the name Carmen Sita, was a priest in New Jersey where he was charged with sexual contact with a minor in September 1982 and pleaded guilty in 1983.
Barbara Dorris, outreach director at the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said church leaders briefly placed Howard in a treatment facility, before his name was changed and he returned to the priesthood in Boonville in the fall of 1983.
According to a motion filed in June 2010, Howard was arrested in New Jersey and arraigned on all eight counts on May 17, 2010.
He was brought to Cooper County, where he now awaits trial.
On Wednesday morning, Howard will have a motion hearing in the Cooper County Courthouse to determine if the eight coun...
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.