Unpleasant testimony in a hearing aimed at pulling back the curtain on decades of clerical sexual abuse in the New Zealand Catholic Church took a turning point. Abuse survivor Donald Daniel Ku took a stand on Wednesday in an assessment of New Zealand’s worst offender, UK Bernard McGrath, who is serving a 33-year sentence for abuse. unimaginable for the children in his care.
Ku, now 58, told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse when he heard that while studying at the Marylands School in Christchurch in 1963, McGrath had him and other boys undress and kneel in a circle. while McGrath stuck his erect penis into the mouths.
Ku, who is in a care home because he has a developmental disability, described the challenge. “Once, he had a couple of us boys into his room. We were all lined up in a group on the floor without any clothes on and we were on our knees,” Ku said in his written statement read at the hearing, which was broadcast live. “Brother McGrath would go around all of us with his penis out and try to get his penis into our mouths. Some of the other boys seemed to know what to do, but I didn’t. When he tried to put his penis in my mouth, I bit him.”
The school, described as a care home for “mentally delinquent and delinquent” boys, is at the center of the investigation, appearing to be a hunting ground for abusive priests like McGrath, who monitor the dormitory while he is there. Half of the 42 priests and clerics who work there have been accused of pervasive sexual abuse of at least 144 of the 537 male students enrolled at the school.
Other punishments include, hitting children with a cross, forcing boys to eat their own poop or watching McGrath masturbate and forcibly touch or consume semen.
“After a while, I started to get used to the sexual things going on in the Marylands,” Ku said at the hearing. “I was also threatened by Brother McGrath to keep quiet about what was happening. He once took me to the hospital morgue and showed me a body as a way to silence me.”
Steven James Long, 56, another former student and McGrath’s victim, also testified that the rabbi threatened him and the other boys with death. He said McGrath showed him a corpse in a nearby hospital’s morgue when he was 7:8am and forced him to climb into a coffin and close the lid, according to minutes from the hearing. bare. “He flipped me inside one of them and closed the lid,” Long said, according to the testimony. He said McGrath then pulled him out by his hair, told him he would end up there if he told anyone, and then raped him.
Long, who said he was also abused by another missionary, Brother Roger Maloney, continued to abuse drugs and alcohol in response to the horrifying experience.
McGrath and Maloney were both convicted for their crimes, but only McGrath remained in custody.
Wednesday is the first day of a public hearing that is expected to end in June with the committee’s final report. More than 1,600 witnesses have provided testimonies about abuses by Catholic clerics. An interim report released in December based on this hearing estimated that in New Zealand at least 256,000 people were abused in Catholic care homes, 40% of those entrusted for the church.