‘I thought God had presented this guy’: 20 years after reporting clergy abuse to the University, a Notre Dame survivor shares his story

first_imgReporting the abuseAccording to 2019 correspondence between Fuller’s lawyer, Richard Serbin, and Notre Dame general counsel Marianne Corr, Fuller kept in contact with the University for at least a year after reporting the abuse in 2002.During that time, University records indicate Fuller corresponded with former Notre Dame general counsel Carol Kaesebier and Fr. Richard Warner, then chief adviser to University President Emeritus Fr. Edward A. Malloy. Fuller does not have records of his correspondence with Warner and Kaesebier from the early 2000s.According to University records, Fuller met with Notre Dame in April of 2003. His sister Paula Mason and a close friend, Carol Smola, came along for support.Kaesebier, Warner and other top University administrators attended on behalf of Notre Dame. Kaesebier was part of a three-person committee Malloy founded that year to work with survivors of abuse by Notre Dame clergy.Fuller hoped his meeting with the University would help him heal. He said he asked the University to help pay for him to receive an additional degree, as he felt Notre Dame had not given him the education he had paid for.“‘You put me through some more school, help me get a degree in counseling or be a therapist, and I’ll go help people like me,’” he said. “That’s exactly what I said.”Both Smola and Mason confirmed Fuller asked the University for help with education costs at the meeting. However, the University did not fulfill his request. In an email, Kaesebier said she did not recall enough about her correspondence with Fuller or the events of the meeting to comment. Malloy said he did not remember Fuller, and Warner did not respond to multiple interview requests.In reaching out to the University for comment, Observer reporters also asked University spokesperson Dennis Brown to confirm whether Fuller asked for help with educational costs or made any other requests during the meeting. The University declined to comment.According to University records, Fuller did not stay in contact with Notre Dame after the meeting.In an Associated Press article from March 2003, the University offered a public apology to Fuller for a priest who “had sexual contact with him” while he was a student there. “We feel very bad about this,” Fr. Richard Warner, at the time director of Campus Ministry and counselor to Malloy, said in the article. “We feel even worse because … he’s lived with it quietly for all those years and has had to seek out counseling. It wasn’t brought to our attention until almost a year ago.”The article does not identify Presley as the priest in question.Fuller said he was disappointed by the apology and feels the University has yet to take full responsibility for Presley. Courtesy of Mark Fuller. A photo of Mark Fuller from a few years ago.Fuller rediscovered his lawyer’s correspondence with Notre Dame general counsel Marianne Corr from 2019 during an interview with The Observer. In the correspondence, Corr said she would be open to continue working with Fuller. He reached out to Corr in May, and the two have been in conversation.At the beginning of Lent, a volunteer came to Fuller’s work offering to place ashes on people’s foreheads. Though his relationship with the church has been damaged, he decided to take ashes that day.“I didn’t lose all my faith,” Fuller said. “Still pray.”It takes time to process trauma, Fuller said, and he’d like to see more survivors have access to professional therapy.“There’s a progression; you can’t push yourself,” Fuller said. “You can’t rush too much, you can just get hurt again in a way, in weird ways.” And, he added, if he could talk to a young survivor, he’d like to offer them hope.“I would want that person to know — to be encouraged — that it sometimes gets dark or hard,” Fuller said.He paused.“And then it gets lighter.”Tags: Catholic Church abuse crisis, Diocese of Erie, Fr. William Presley, Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, University of Notre Dame Mary Steurer | The Observer Fr. William Presley was rector of St. Edward’s Hall, featured above. Fuller says Presley abused him in the men’s residence hall. Addressing the pastIn February 2019, the Diocese of Erie launched a survivor compensation fund. Fuller hired a lawyer and filed a claim, settling later that year. A third of Fuller’s settlement went to his lawyer, and another third went to taxes, he said. “It was by no means — originally or the part [of the sum] that I netted — enough for the medications, the therapy, the missed wages, the pain and suffering, nowhere even close,” Fuller said. “I can’t even do the math.”Fuller did not disclose the amount of the settlement. The diocese had also previously offered Fuller money for counseling, but it was only enough to cover about six sessions, he told media outlets during a demonstration in Pittsburgh led by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), an international advocacy group of which Fuller is a member.However, Fuller did credit then-Bishop Donald Walter Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, for believing him when he reported Presley.According to news outlet goerie.com, in December, the compensation fund had paid a total of $5.9 million to 50 survivors, making the average settlement $118,000. Sums have ranged from $5,000 to $400,000.“Establishing a fund, handled completely independently by a third party, allowed us to publicly acknowledge the crimes of the past and the damage that was done,” Welsh said in a statement to The Observer. “It also gave us a way to offer some measure of justice to victims.”The diocese also offered to connect survivors with pro bono lawyers unaffiliated with the diocese’s law firm to help them through the process.Fuller’s lawyer, Richard Serbin, has represented over 400 child sex abuse survivors over the span of more than three decades. Serbin said in that time, he has seen a change in the Catholic Church’s approach to addressing sexual abuse.“In the early years when I was doing this, it was all hardball legal tactics, very aggressive tactics to fight these lawsuits,” he said.Since the early 2000s, the Catholic Church has made strides in addressing the sexual abuse crisis. However, the absence of greater regulation means there is still little consensus on what qualifies as adequate response and prevention, advocates said.Terry McKiernan, co-founder of the clergy abuse watchdog group called Bishop Accountability, said Catholic organizations should ensure comprehensive information about their abuse history is publicly available. This could include what the organization has done or is planning to do to address abuse, as well as a public apology to survivors, he said.“The message should absolutely be that the person at the top is willing to sit down with anyone who has been harmed,” he said.Former FBI executive assistant director Kathleen McChesney, who helped spearhead the creation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of Child and Youth Protection in the early 2000s, recommended Catholic institutions strengthen their abuse prevention with regular background screening, increased supervision and timely response to boundary violations. “You want to do everything you can to identify who’s an abuser,” she said.The University should do more to educate students about the dangers of clergy abuse, Fuller said. He suggested inviting survivors like him or other professionals in the field of abuse prevention to come speak to Notre Dame freshmen.“Be warned,” he said. “Be aware.” ‘The color all went out of my life’Fuller and Presley stayed in contact for the remainder of Presley’s time at Notre Dame.Over the course of Fuller’s sophomore and junior years, Presley took him on trips around the country.In New York, Presley took Fuller to his first pornographic film, as well as to the Rainbow Room, a famous lounge in Manhattan.“I can’t even walk by that building without feeling sick to my stomach,” Fuller said.Fuller said during these trips, Presley often tried to initiate unwanted sexual contact with him.“He would touch me or touch my back, touch my arm, touch a leg,” he said.Presley also took Fuller to a ranch on the west coast. While there, Fuller said, Presley hired women sex workers for them.“I was so terrified and so disgusted … and just frozen. I couldn’t wait to get out of there,” Fuller said.He bought Fuller a stereo, speakers and a turntable. Disgusted by the gifts, Fuller gave them to his cousin as soon as he left college.“I think he was buying my silence,” Fuller said. Grooming victims and convincing them the abuse is a form of counseling or education is one way offenders can hold their victims psychologically hostage, convincing them to stay in an abusive situation, said Carlos Cuevas, a clinical psychologist and professor at Northeastern University. He declined to speak to the specifics of Fuller’s case but discussed the general dynamics and effects of sexual abuse.“Those are things that may not be physically keeping the individual from leaving, but certainly psychologically are making sure the offender can continue to have access to them,” Cuevas said. Sophomore year, when the abuse started, Fuller’s grades plummeted.Fuller’s friendships from freshman year also faded, and he withdrew from his extracurriculars. He wanted to drop out of school, but his father asked him to stay. “The color all went out of my life, you know, out of that campus,” he said. “It was no longer so beautiful to me.”Presley left Notre Dame in 1976, Fuller’s junior year.center_img ‘There’s a progression; you can’t push yourself’As Fuller, now 65, nears retirement, he hopes to buy a small home, perhaps a townhouse. In his ideal world, Fuller would retire by a lake and perhaps find a significant other.“I know what I think and feel,” Fuller said. “I’m aware. And that is good for communicating.”Smola described Mark as “incredibly courageous” and “resilient” as she’s watched him heal throughout the years.“All of those talents and abilities … that he’s had, he’s needed to use those to process through and keep going and accomplish all that he has,” she said.Throughout it all, he’s relied on family and friends, especially his sister.“We’re best friends today,” Mason said.Besides SNAP, Fuller is also a member of AlAnon, a recovery group for friends and family members of alcoholics. Daniel Wilson, one of Fuller’s friends from AlAnon, said he has also seen Fuller become increasingly open to sharing his story with others in the roughly 12 years they’ve known each other.“In our circle of friends in recovery, there are a lot of people who have suffered sexual abuse, both men and women, both straight and gay, and I think his experiences have helped people who have a different profile,” Wilson said. Mark Fuller, class of 1977, came forward with his experience of priest abuse in 2002. Notre Dame offered little more than an apology.Editor’s note: This story includes descriptions of sexual abuse and violence. A list of sexual assault reporting options and on-campus resources can be found on the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross websites.Diane Park The first two times Mark Fuller visited Fr. William Presley, then rector of St. Edward’s Hall, they just talked. It was 1974, and Fuller vividly remembers sitting in an orange lounge chair in the front of Presley’s rectory while the priest asked him questions about his classes, his family and his personal life. Fuller remembers Presley offering him a soda.Then, in their third or fourth meeting, Fuller said, things changed. Presley told Fuller to wait while he went into the bedroom. When Presley called him in, he was in bed under the covers. He told Fuller to disrobe.Fuller said this was the first time Presley raped him.“He would go get a washcloth — ‘This is what you do. This is what you do with your partner,’” recalled Fuller, 65. “He was telling me how sex worked.” Presley raped him two more times during his sophomore year, Fuller said.Investigators say Presley victimized many people over the course of his career. According to a 2018 report by a grand jury that investigated sex abuse allegations against the clergy in Pennsylvania, where Presley also worked, at least five have credibly accused him of abuse. The report, which cited records from the Diocese of Erie, said Presley was known to have abused people through “‘choking, slapping, punching, rape, sodomy, fellatio, anal intercourse’ and other acts.”“It’s some kind of a soul murder, you know,” said Fuller, who graduated from the University in 1977. “It really is. It damages something so important that you can’t see.”Since the grand jury report was made public in August 2018, Notre Dame has developed several initiatives addressing the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis. The University commissioned two task forces, one to facilitate dialogue on campus, another to assess research opportunities. It pledged up to $1 million to fund research on clergy abuse. The University even hosted its 2019 Notre Dame Forum on the subject.However, there has been little public discussion of Notre Dame’s own history with abusive clergy in recent years, and its own record with priest abuse remains murky. A 2003 report from the South Bend Tribune said at the time Notre Dame was aware of allegations against four priests. It is unclear if Presley, who was later defrocked and died in 2012, was one of them. Survivors like Fuller question whether the University has offered a full accounting of the cases involving clergy at Notre Dame. And, with little more than an apology decades after the alleged abuse, some, like Fuller, are left with a sense of unfinished business — which they say reflects a larger failure by the University to address the harm students suffered at the hands of its priests.The Observer asked Notre Dame how its strategies for abuse response and prevention have changed since the ’70s, particularly in light of the abuse crisis. The University did not respond and did not answer a question about how many priests working at Notre Dame had been accused of abusing a community member during their tenure.In the Presley case, Fuller reported the abuse to Notre Dame in 2002. In a statement to The Observer, vice president for public affairs and communications Paul Browne linked to an Associated Press article from 2003, where the University offered an apology to Fuller.“While we had no contemporaneous reports on file from that period, Notre Dame in 2002 reported the allegations against Presley to the Erie, Pennsylvania, diocese,” Browne said in a statement to The Observer. “The University publicly apologized to the student in 2003.”The University’s apology did little to assuage the pain Fuller has felt for nearly half a century, he said. For almost 30 years, he had refused to report Presley’s behavior to Notre Dame — largely, he said, because of a mix of fear and shame.In a series of interviews with The Observer over the past five months, Fuller shared his account of how the abuse he endured shaped his life, his faith and his perception of the university he once called home. He did so, he said, in the hopes that other survivors of clergy abuse — both at Notre Dame and elsewhere — might find the courage to share their stories. And he said he also hopes that his story might compel the University to reckon more fully with the sins of the priests from its past. Courtesy of Mark Fuller Mark Fuller’s high school senior portrait.Grooming and abuseIn the fall of his sophomore year, Fuller and his roommate were invited to a football game watch party with Presley in St. Edward’s Hall. Presley was friendly, Fuller recalled of their first meeting. There were about a dozen students crammed into the rectory watching the game. Returning for his second or third game watch, Fuller said he decided to stay behind to talk to Presley. Fuller disclosed that he was gay, and he wanted to try conversion therapy to see if he could turn himself straight. “My church, my family, everything, everybody said that I was bad,” Fuller said.Presley was quick to offer help. He told Mark he would be his counselor.Fuller left the rectory that day feeling relieved. He had been praying to find someone to help him.“I thought God had presented this guy,” he said.Presley came to Notre Dame from the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania, in August of 1970, according to the grand jury report, which lists him as a “graduate and student counselor” at the time. According to The Observer archives, he was named rector of St. Edward’s Hall in September 1971. University records also indicate he was a member of hall staff in Keenan Hall. The grand jury report found that Presley’s track record of abuse began as early as 1963. The report concluded the Diocese of Erie knew of allegations against Presley by at least 1987.“Not speaking specifically about this case, every allegation that we had on file has been reported to civil authorities, whether it is beyond the statute of limitations or not,” Diocese of Erie director of communications Anne-Marie Welsh said in a statement to The Observer. “We will continue to report new allegations as they are made known to us.”Presley was defrocked in 2006. He died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 2012.last_img read more

7 must-haves for your employee handbook

first_img 15SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr An employee handbook is a vital part of your business, but it can also be overwhelming to develop when you consider all of the information that should be included.An employee handbook sets the tone for your new hires and can (should) be a valuable resource for existing employees to go to review policies and find pertinent information that they may have forgotten, such as your FMLA policy or disability benefits. Further, some federal, state, and local laws require you to inform employees in writing about certain policies, so you should familiarize yourself with those requirements by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).Whether you are starting your first employee handbook, or you are revamping your existing handbook, take a look at a few of the must-haves to make sure you have a complete handbook that will protect you legally and give your employees a thorough understanding of your company and the expectations you have for them. continue reading »last_img read more

Cres renters soon to interest-free loans to raise the quality of accommodation

first_imgBy the way, the exact number of renters who have used HBOR’s credit line so far is a business secret, but as we unofficially find out, a total of about 50 renters used this credit line to finance the work of private renters. More on that in the attachment. Source: Novi List / Cover photo: Apartment Pinja, Cres / Booking.com An education in tourism was held on the island of Cres so that Cres renters could better prepare for the upcoming season and new tourist trends, which are jointly organized by the Cres Tourist Board and the Cres Landlords Association. Namely, it is HBOR’s credit line for renters, in which the Ministry of Tourism subsidizes one percentage point of interest, so that renters can get a loan with an interest rate of two percent per year and a one-year grace period. However, according to the proposal of the mayor of Cres, the city would join this credit line and subsidize the remaining two percent, which would make loans for Cres renters interest-free. Vesna Bartolović, head of HBOR’s regional office for Primorje and Gorski kotar, who presented the new credit line of the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Renato Kraljev, a well-known Croatian chef, spoke about the formation of menus based on indigenous dishes and groceries and Nedo Pinezić, the first man of family accommodation in Croatia. RELATED NEWS: HOW MANY RENTERS HAVE USED THE CREDIT LINE TO FINANCE THE WORK OF PRIVATE RENTERS? The news that resonated from the workshop was the proposal of the mayor of Cres, Kristijan Jurjak, to include Cres with a subsidy for loans to renters, which would provide Cres renters with interest-free loans to raise the quality of accommodation, writes Novi List. last_img read more

Magseis Relocates HQ; Adds New Members to Its Team

first_imgMagseis has expanded its global operations and relocated its head office to Lysaker, Norway, effective April 09, 2018.Per Christian Grytnes, acting CEO said: “The new offices enable all Magseis Oslo based staff to work from the same premises. We are expanding our global operations and the new headquarters will support efficient implementation of Magseis growth plans.”In addition, the company has recruited CFO and SVP Sales & Marketing who have now started with Magseis.Tom Henrik Sundby, CFO has more than 25 years’ experience in finance and management positions. He came from the position as finance director of BerGenBio.Previously, he was based in Dubai, UAE, where he held the position as CFO of Polarcus for 8 years.Sundby holds a Master of Business Administration degree with Honours both from BI Norwegian Business School and ESCP, France.Furthermore, Andrè Bjørvik, SVP Sales & Marketing, with 15 years of seismic industry experience, primarily within sales and marketing, has joined the team. He has for the last 10 years worked in PGS, where he has been leading the Europe sales division while based in Oslo and London.Bjørvik holds a Master in Geology from University of Oslo.last_img read more

Wheeler outpitches Scherzer, Phillies beat Nationals 3-0

first_img First Published: 3rd September, 2020 12:50 IST SUBSCRIBE TO US Last Updated: 3rd September, 2020 12:50 IST Wheeler Outpitches Scherzer, Phillies Beat Nationals 3-0 Zack Wheeler tossed three-hit ball over 6 2/3 innings to outpitch Max Scherzer, Jay Bruce hit a solo homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night. Associated Press Television News LIVE TV COMMENTcenter_img Written By Zack Wheeler tossed three-hit ball over 6 2/3 innings to outpitch Max Scherzer, Jay Bruce hit a solo homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night.Neil Walker was 3 for 3 with two RBIs for the Phillies, who’ve won eight of nine and three in a row to go two games over .500 for the first time since they were 79-77 last Sept. 24.The defending World Series champion Nationals have lost five straight and eight of nine to fall to 12-22. They’ve been shut out in consecutive games.Wheeler (4-0) struck out six and lowered his ERA to 2.20. David Phelps retired the four batters he faced in his debut with the Phillies. Brandon Workman finished for his eighth save in nine chances and fourth for Philadelphia.Scherzer (3-2) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings. He slammed his glove with two hands in the dugout after his final inning.The three-time Cy Young Award winner ran into trouble in the fourth when he walked J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura and Alec Bohm lined a single to load the bases with one out. Walker then slapped an opposite-field hit to left-center to score two.Bruce drove his sixth homer the opposite way to left in the sixth to make it 3-0.Victor Robles, Asdrubal Cabrera and Luis Garcia hit singles off Wheeler, who threw 108 pitches. Wheeler has been outstanding for the Phillies in his first season after signing a $118 million, five-year contract in free agency.BACK TO BACKAaron Nola and Hector Neris combined on a four-hitter in Philadelphia’s 6-0 win Tuesday night.WISE MOVEPhillies manager Joe Girardi gave red-hot Rhys Hoskins, who is 0 for 17 against Scherzer, a night off. Walker replaced him at first base and raised his average from .192 to .276 with three hits.TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: RHP Javy Guerra was placed on the 10-day injury list with a left hamstring strain and RHP Kyle McGowin was recalled.Phillies: Girardi said LHP Adam Morgan could be ready to return from the injury list when he’s eligible on Sept. 10. Morgan has a tired throwing shoulder.(Image Credit Pixbay) FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVElast_img read more