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Abused In Wisconsin

Abused In Wisconsin

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When Billy was 8 years-old he joined the boys choir at St. Catherine School in Milwaukee. Bob Schaefer, the choir director, befriended Billy and often favored him over older students. Billy’s family was even invited along on a trip to Florida with the choir in 1975. It was after this trip that Bob began sexually abusing Billy. The abuse came often and in many different places; in Bob’s house, Bob’s car and even in the sacristy of St. Catherine’s Church. Billy was confused and scared, but buried himself in his music and the abuse went on. When Billy turned 16, Bob suddenly stopped the abuse. Billy, guilt ridden, traumatized, and alone, just as abruptly stopped the music. It was 12 years before Billy was able to resume singing and playing the music he so loved. Growing up in the Polish neighborhood around St. Adalbert’s in Milwaukee, seven year-old Karen, except for the crutches to accommodate her polio, was a pretty normal kid. Karen and her girlfriends would often go to the rectory at St. Adalbert’s to help their parish priest with church activities—something that would always be a part of her childhood memories. Karen can only wish that the memories were fond. What she remembers today is being asked by Father Don Musinski into his private office—alone. She remembers sitting on his lap, but tries hard not to remember the details. She remembers being so afraid of his sexual advances but not being able to tell anyone what Father Musinski was doing to her. Karen’s abuse lasted until she was 13 years old, but the painful memories will last a lifetime. Terry was 10 years-old when he enrolled at St. John’s School for the Deaf in suburban Milwaukee. As an infant, Terry suffered from meningitis and lost his hearing. In 1960, Terry’s brother was electrocuted and a year later his father committed suicide. In 1962, Terry’s adored German Shepherd, “Chrissy,” died of hypothermia. At St. John’s, Father Lawrence Murphy took the sad and vulnerable child into his trust. Unfortunately, Father Murphy was not to be trusted. Over the next few years, Murphy cruelly and methodically sexually abused young Terry. Incredibly, Terry was not alone. In 2009, church documents revealed Father Murphy may have sexually abused over 200 children before he died in 1998.

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