Catholic Teacher in Camden NJ Sexually Abuses Student at Least 60 Times

A teacher at a Catholic school in Camden, New Jersey, has been arrested for sexually abusing a student at least 60 times over the course of a year and a half. This is the 13th arrest of a Catholic staffer this year, demonstrating an ongoing need for Church officials to better prevent cases of sexual abuse. It is also a reminder of the important role that secular law enforcement plays in prevention.

Bridget Sipera was a literature teacher at Camden Catholic High School until she was arrested this week for grooming and sexually abusing one of her students. This case is a reminder that it is not just clergy but also lay employees of the Church that sexually abuse children and the vulnerable. It is an example of why we call for all abusers – not just priests – to be included on diocesan lists.

This case is also a reminder that sexual abuse is ultimately an abuse of power. Ms. Sipera had power over the student she abused, and she wielded that power for her own ends. We are grateful that she has been arrested and removed from her position so that other children cannot be hurt by her. We hope that Catholic officials from the Diocese of Camden and Camden Catholic will take steps to ensure that all alumni and community members are informed about this news and that others who may have been hurt by either this teacher or anyone else are encouraged to come forward and make a report to law enforcement.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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