Man claims abuse by Catholic school teacher 37 years ago - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Man claims abuse by Catholic school teacher 37 years ago

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - New allegations of child sex abuse emerge related to the Catholic church.

A Youngstown man claims he was molested at age 13 by a teacher at St. Christine's School in the city.

Jerry Arnal, now 51 years-old, stood outside the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown telling 21 News he felt compelled to publicly reveal his painful past in hopes that he could prevent the crimes from happening to any other young children.

Arnal says he was repeatedly molested by a deacon and Catholic school teacher at St. Christine's back in 1976.

The Youngstown man also claims the alleged abuser still works in the diocese, a claim the Youngstown Diocese vehemently denies.

"In 1976, I was a victim of child abuse, sexual abuse, by a teacher at that time at St. Christine's School in Youngstown," Arnal says.

Arnal says he feels he's been denied justice after first reporting the alleged crime to Catholic school administrators twice in the 1980's, and then to the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown and the Bishop back in 2008.

"Several times, I contemplated suicide and I almost succeeded a few times," Arnal says. "I thank God that I'm here today to help people, and that's all. I have never, ever sought any monetary compensation from the Diocese of Youngstown, I don't want their money."

Judy Jones with SNAP, "The Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests," says the group recently received an anonymous letter from a Girard address.

The letter from someone claiming to actually work for the Diocese said the same unnamed man who allegedly molested Arnal and another man was also allegedly at the center of a "significant abuse case at Cardinal Mooney High School" involving sex with a teenage girl.

The timeline on those allegations are unclear, but now the group and Arnal demand that Bishop George Murry make that alleged predator's name public and investigate.

"We are here today to protect kids. We believe that they are still at risk within this Diocese," Jones says.

But a statement from the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown says:

"First, the accuser is poorly informed. The accused is no longer working in the Diocese in any capacity. Second, the Diocese followed its policy and procedures, and reported the allegation to Mahoning County Children's Services. It should be noted that the accusation was fully investigated, and even though it could not be substantiated, the Diocese of Youngstown has responded pastorally and provided assistance to the accuser. The accuser sent a thank you to the Diocese for their "concern and attention."

Arnal has also spoken with the Mahoning County Prosecutor's Office, but the statute of limitations for a criminal case has expired.

For Arnal, still suffering emotional scars, he just wants to protect other children from the sexual abuse he endured.

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