2 Kailua priests accused of rape

2 Kailua priests accused of rape
Published: Aug. 23, 2012 at 10:44 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 24, 2012 at 7:34 AM HST
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KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In elementary school Mark Pinkosh was an altar boy and spent a lot of time at St. Anthony Church in Kailua.  He and his family were devout Catholics but says he was abused by his own priest.

"When I was about 8 or 9 years old Father Henry raped me and it was very violent and very intense and of course as an elementary school fourth grader it's very difficult to process that kind of stuff," said Mark Pinkosh, who filed a civil suit against the Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii.

Pinkosh was told to keep it to himself and initially didn't tell his family but did go to others in the church.

"Simultaneously I told another priest. Nothing happened. I told a nun. I told another nun, so now four adults at my church know about this. Two nuns and two priests and nothing stopped the abuse," said Pinkosh.

Another priest then came to the church. His name was Father Joseph Ferrario.

"I told him about the abuse that took place. He counseled me that it was a secret, I shouldn't tell anybody and then he proceeded to rape me as well," said Pinkosh.

When Pinkosh was in his late 20's he says he told everyone, his family, friends, and co-workers but was told too much time had passed to prosecute.

Now the state passed a law giving abuse victims a chance to sue despite the statute of limitations. The law went into effect in June and the window is two years.

"Like me you can come home. You folks can come home. You can feel safe again and you can finally have some justice for what happened to you," said Pinkosh, who is now 48. "I think it's very important for there to be a face and a name associated with what's going on so other people will come forward. I'm doing this for other people out there right now."

"The true evil lies in the institutions that cover up for these men because they made the conscious decision to choose the safety of a perpetrator over the safety of a child," said Joelle Casteix, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), who was abused as a child at her Catholic School in Southern California.

Father Henry and Bishop Ferrario have both been accused of abuse before.  Claims in the past were dismissed because of the statute of limitations.

Both priests are now deceased.

"Both Father Henry and Bishop Ferrario are deceased but the legacy of horror they left in the lives and souls of many kids is still very raw," said Jeff Anderson, Pinkosh's Attorney, who says he has represented 3,000 sexual abuse victims since 1983.

In the current case the Catholic Church has not been served and declined comment.

However long time St. Anthony Church members who knew Father Henry defended him.

"He was very good to the children and I honestly would never, I wouldn't believe it nothing would make me believe that. He was just a wonderful person." Jewel Convoy, St. Anthony Church member. "I don't think there was anything going on because back then the parish was sort of smaller and people were much more involved with church and school maybe than they are now." Parents I think knew Father Henry personally on a daily basis because he was very involved in the school."

Pinkosh says he is not concerned about those that will try to discredit him.

"Bring it on I will match you, I will match them toe to toe, fact to fact. Let's do it. I've waited a long time," said Pinkosh. "I've waited 35 years for my opportunity to be listened to and that's a long time to wait. That's a lot of stuff to carry for a long time and I'm from Kailua I can handle it."

Anderson says a timeline has not been set for when the case will go to court.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.