Woman files a lawsuit against Church priest for raping her during counselling at the Church 40 years ago

    28-Sep-2020
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A Japanese woman has filed a suit against the Roman Catholic Church in Japan alleging that a priest raped her four decades ago.
 
Japanese woman raped by c 
 
According to the report, the civil lawsuit, filed in Sendai District Court, seeks ¥56.1 million ($534,000) in damages. It accuses a priest, who has not been charged or penalized, as well as a bishop who counseled the woman in recent years about the alleged abuse.
 
While talking to media, victim Harumi Suzuki said, “I have filed this lawsuit to claim back the dignity I have lost, and to try to end this serious crime that is a violation of humanity.”
 
She said she lived through “more than 40 years of hell,” but wants to raise her voice for other abuse survivors.
Suzuki, a Catholic, was a victim of domestic violence in 1977 and turned to the priest for consolation, according to the lawsuit. She was raped in the upstairs bedroom of the church during a counselling session, and suffered depression for years, it says.
 
The lawsuit said, “The Catholic Church is a giant organization of power for the believers and has their unconditional trust. Sexual violence by the clergy on members of the congregation is an extremely despicable act that takes advantage of the absolute inequality in power.”
 
“We also want Japanese society to learn more about the problems in the church, its secrecy, its cover-ups and how perpetrators are going unpunished,” Yuma Sato, Suzuki’s attorney said.
 
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