Men Confront Priest They Say Molested Them As Children, Caught on CBS News Hidden Camera
Two childhood friends who said they were molested as children by a Pennsylvania priest confronted him in an emotional moment caught on undercover cameras for CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor.
The investigation followed Shaun Dougherty and Brian Sabo, two childhood friends returning to Johnstown, Pennsylvania to confront Father George Koharchik, the priest they say abused them while they were students at a Catholic grade school.
“After the second or third time you’re on his lap in his car and he accidentally brushes his thumb and hand against your penis, you start to think — you go, ‘This is different,'” Dougherty said, telling CBS News the abuse started when he was 10.
“I was in sixth grade, and that’s when the actual physical abuse began,” Sabo said. “We were kids. It was our normal.”
Dougherty called Koharchik to arrange a meeting between the three at a restaurant, where CBS had set up hidden cameras.
“I’m certainly sorry for the harm I’ve caused and ashamed of anything that I did back then,” Koharchik, who has previously confessed to molesting children, said at the meeting.
“You know, what was it about us?” Dougherty asked. “Is it more convenience because we lived close to the school?”
“Or was there something else about Shaun and I that made us a target?” asked Sabo.
“Well, it was the familiarity, maybe,” Koharchik said.
“I’m going to tell you this. I’m angry with what you did,” Dougherty said. “Right, I’m angry. But I have forgiven you a long, long, long time ago for this. Alright? The part that I cannot forgive is the cover-up. I am — that crushed me. We were taught to — oh, there’s a God.”
“I mean, I tried to kill myself over this when I was 24,” he said.
“When you first started having those feelings, did you feel like, should I talk to someone? Or — I mean, it could have saved 10 of us,” Sabo asked.
“But who?” Koharchik replied. “If there is something that you see as a problem, it’s not the sort of thing where you’re going to call the bishop up and say anything about it because that’s, then you run the risk of, you know, being dismissed or whatever.”
“Is this something that you would have confessed in a confessional?” Dougherty asked.
“Oh, I have,” Koharchik said. “Yeah, certainly.”
“Do you think that’s forgiven you?” Sabo asked.
“Yeah, from what I understand God’s forgiveness to be, certainly,” Koharchik said.
“Maybe with God. I can’t,” Sabo said. “I have to carry this the rest of my life.”
“I know,” Koharchik replied.
Sabo had to step outside for a moment. When he returned her told Koharchik: “I came to tell you I don’t want to think about you anymore. I can’t forgive you.”
CBS News tried to question Koharchik after the meeting, which lasted 90 minutes. He declined to comment.
Watch above, via CBS News.
[image via screengrab]
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