Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sword and Scale, Episode 99, deals with male childhood sexual abuse.

Two startling statistics from the show are that the vast majority of molested boys never report it (just 26% ever report) due to the shame involved. This much lower than girls. Also abusers of boys tend to be prolific with victims often numbering in the hundreds whereas abusers of females tend to only have a handful of victims (JohnQ double checked this and some stats indicate that someone that abuses males will have an average of 150 or so victims and someone that abuses females 50 or so.)

Here is the episode:

A large part of the podcast features Jim Clemente, a recently retired FBI agent, who was brave enough to share his story of abuse. Here is a profile of Jim from an abuse survivor organization: - Jim Clemente

It started when he was a 15 year old attending a Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) summer camp. The director of the camp and his basketball coach, Michael J. O'Hara told him that he was the hardest worker at the camp and that he wanted him to stay after camp to help close it down.

The director had a tough guy image and ran the camp with an iron fist. Jim was flattered that someone like that noticed him.

A couple days before they left to return home, the director let Jim, who was too young to legally drive, drive him to a bar in the nearby town. He had Jim sit at the bar while he drank, bought a twelve pack of beer and had Jim drive him back to camp.

Once back at camp, O'Hara started to talk to Jim about sex and masturbation. He encouraged Jim to not be embarrassed about it and sent him to his room with beer and porn magazines. O'Hara later went to Jim's room and began to repeatedly molest him over the course of a couple days.

Jim was too embarrassed to tell his mother and was too worried about his father's reaction. He did tell his school counselor later, a priest. The priest said he should say a couple prayers for committing a sin and should not tell anyone. Years later, when Jim became an FBI agent, he was put on a case that convicted this priest molesting children at that school.

Jim did share with his brother about the abuse and his brother said that he had once snuck into O'Hara's office at camp and found shopping bags filled with abuse photos. This shocked Jim because he thought he was the only victim. Jim later found out the O'Hara had worked at 13 different catholic schools over 23 years. Every time and abuse allegation would surface O'Hara would simply move on to the next school. He got away with it for years because schools would never pursue charges against him.

Later he went to the New York Police and they started an investigation but it did not get anywhere because they could not get any victims to come forward. Jim was finally persuaded to wear a wire. Jim needed to get O'Hara to confess. O'Hara admitted abusing boys starting when he worked the night shift at an orphanage in 1969 but he was careful only to admit cases where the statute of limitations had run out. It was only after numerous meeting that Jim finally got O'Hara on tape admitting to something that could be prosecuted. Even then, O'Hara almost got off on parole until Jim finally talked the judge into at least sentencing him to a brief prison term.

Jim stresses just how many hundreds of boys O'Hara probably molested over his career as a teacher. He later found out that in one class of 13 boys that O'Hara had managed to molest 11 of them. Michael had handed out a survey on the first day of class to find out the boy interest and later used the information to groom them for molestation.

John Quincy did a brief search and found that Michael O'Hara's molestation spree started even earlier than the Orphanage. It appears that he was recommended by the Catholic Church as Boy Scout and had reports filed against him as early as 1966. Even back then, O'hara was using the same techniques that he had used to groom Jim: - Boy Scout 'perversion list' reveals extent of alleged abuse

Michael J. O'Hara, Boy Scout Abuse Report

It looks like the camp that Jim attended was Camp Hays near Port Jarvis, NY and that there are likely a ton more victims of Michael O'Hara:

1 comment:

Maryellen Schlusser said...

Did this O'Hara teach at St. Matthew's in Hastings-on-Hudson in the late 70's to early 80's? Is he still alive?