This is Daniel's story, part two. It chronicles how he was treated by the Franciscans, including former St. Francis Prep teacher and Superior General William Boslet, when he confronted them about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Brother Joe Mussa. I am so proud of Danny for writing his story. He is one of the bravest people I know. He also knows that every time he writes, he helps someone else who has suffered. And that's the point, isn't it?
"I don’t remember exactly how my relationship ended with mussa. There was no defining moment. It just ended, I was tired of being touched, I was embarrassed. I was sick of going to the movies only to be molested time after time after time in a dark room, mind you, full of people unaware of the crime being committed before them. At this point I was terrorized each and every time I got in the car with this man. That's where he would molest me all the time. The same pattern over and over and over. The rubbing on the kneecap then move on to the upper thigh, then force his way to undo my zipper and fondle my genitals. Only once did I wear a pair of shorts in his company after the abuse started. That was like a field day for this pedophile. He would always make a comment on the long pants I was wearing, suggesting i was probably way too hot and should be wearing shorts. Imagine that, being a 12,13 year old boy who made wardrobe decisions based on whether or not i was spending his day with a child molester. I would layer clothes with 2 pairs of underpants two jeans extra shorts over underpants over long pants. All my waking moments were consumed somehow with the sexual abuse I was enduring. How to prevent it, how to avoid it and most importantly how to fucking stop it !! He knew I was becoming more and more defensive and I started to voice my uncomfortability with him and with what he was doing to me. After what had taken place that night we spent in that monastery on our way to the Baseball Hall Of Fame , I drew a line . And when that weekend was over, I started my retreat from mussa. The walls came up. After spending a weekend with a man who would not leave me alone, not just in a sexual way, but in a way that he would hover over me wanting to be sure that I was ok. His guilt making him paranoid because I was now reacting to what he was doing to me. He knew damn well I was beginning to resent him more and more as time went by . Back at my new neighborhood, I was being schooled on the streets and it was making me aware of what he was doing to me. And what he was doing was not right . And I was beginning to see some of the bad effects it had in my young life. It was destroying my social skills, my school grades, my home life everything had been affected by it. It had a huge snowball effect, problems grew larger and larger to the point where I was totally isolated, which was, in fact, exactly the position that mussa wanted me to be in. From that afternoon in his classroom when Michelle and I decorated his bulletin board he had seen in me the potential of being a target for his abuse. What motivated him I don't know and I don't care!! What I was learning from the streets at that time was that mussa was doing to me is a crime , and my last visits from him , however they faded out, he felt me resisting more adamantly and standing my ground. I stopped answering his letters and his phone calls. And as hard as it is to admit, it really was painful to have to do it. It's so hard to explain all of emotions that I had to deal with . How one emotion would contradict another. I felt guilty all while feeling angry. I was relieved but at the same time burdened.
Since mussa wasn't getting what he wanted he finally left me alone and moved on. He got the message . The phone calls stopped , no more letters in the mail. Mussa went on to live his life as a prince of the church. Setting himself up as the perfect pedophile would. Teaching high school students. Working the boys locker rooms like a sick pervert that he is. Coaching several high school hockey teams and and i'm sure whatever else he could do in the shadow of Catholic education, to gain access to the boys he was entrusted to care for. He moved on to his next victims. What mussa left in the wake of our relationship was a damaged young man. I was traumatized by our friendship. the most eventful thing so far in my short life, being his buddy, was a lie. This man tricked and manipulated and painted me into a corner having me believe I had no way out. My emotions were shattered. The person who I met that was suppose to be an important role model and authority in my life at the time, to take me under his wing and treat me in a way like I was his own son. Raising me up above everyone else. Isolating me. Then abuse me for as long as he could get away with it then toss me aside like the morning's trash.I cannot begin to tell you what that dose to a 13 year old boy’s self esteem his feelings and his outlook on life.
I was emotionally crippled and extremely angry with it all being masked by a false sense of self. I literally changed into someone else in order to protect the little boy that I still was inside my head. Some if the behaviors I conditioned in myself have become a liability over the years. I blame mussa for causing the end of my childhood and directly putting me on a road to self destruction, self loathing self hate and self medication, I blame the friars as well for they could have helped me many years ago when i went to them for help, The help they were offering me was not the help I was looking for. It's not like I wanted to go to the Betty Ford clinic, I asked Brother Grady to send me to a rehab. I did not want to be around the friars. I had good reason to not want to be around them . My experiences with them have been nothing but bad. I was told I had to take what they were offering me. Like I was going to them as a beggar, them seemingly having the authority over my life and any decisions. Their way or the highway. They did nothing of what I was looking for. The main thing was to have mussa admit what he had done to me and apologize to me. I AM CONVINCED THAT THEY ARE COMPLETELY AWARE OF WHAT THAT MAN WAS UP TO.. And they decided for the good of the church they were going to keep it quiet, no concern for well being of any of his victims . Even as far back in grammar school . Someone somewhere had to have come to the conclusion that there was trouble in my life. They found it necessary to have a counselor come to my school and remove me from class and pry into my personal life and dig around for something that was the cause and effect of my behavior, Mind you all the while without my parents knowledge let alone their permission. That leads me to believe that they were suspicious of them being the cause and effect of my troubles, but they were never contacted or were confronted by anyone about anything. It wasn't until I was in my forties that I told my parents about these unauthorized therapy sessions and it was a complete surprise to them and it made them very angry that they did this to me and without their permission or consent. I do remember that when I told this nun about my ongoing relationship with mussa she became very attentive and inquisitive about it. She was prying so much that I remembered that I thought I was getting him in trouble. I wonder what conclusion that that nun arrived to and who she discussed that situation with. Was there a report , a meeting that discussed me? Or did they just sweep it under the rug and look the other way so they could protect the distorted ancient lifestyle and all the riches that are attached to it for the better of the church. That right there is what has motivated me over the years to keep pressing the issue. I did manage in 2001 to report mussa to the Brooklyn DA, where at that point he was removed from teaching and interactions with kids. I just couldn't believe this man was still teaching kids.The man is a fraud - he is in it for the boys, the young men he can hunt and take advantage of their weakness and find a vulnerable boy to help as if he is a good man when in fact he is a man who’s only intention is to molest and control them.
Now at almost 50 years old I'm way too exhausted from the tremendous job it is to keep on trying to get through life with all its shortcomings that at times get the best of me, and if mussa and all of his supporters want to still deny me my healing and closure on this matter then I have no other choice than to approach it this way in a no holds barred meat and potatoes way, what he did to me and what it did to my life. As well as my dealing with the friars. They rejected me and treated me like I was some rotten person who is just out to harm this good man’s reputation. Yea that makes sense. A man who was at once a great friend to me , who bought me all sorts of things and took me to many places , I am so very grateful to him that i want to destroy his life. The MAN DESTROYED MY LIFE BY PUTTING HIS HANDS ON ME SEXUALLY. If I was just not the one who raised his hand and met this Monster, all of the struggles and problems I had in my life would not be an issue. I know things would have been different. I would have problems of course, but nothing in comparison to the mountain of problems that come from surviving sexual abuse from someone you loved, admired, defended and respected. What mussa did to me was put out the fire I had in my life, the fire in my heart. And there is nothing but darkness when the fire is gone. And , if it was true , as I was taught in my Catholic education, that man was made in god's image, well then from that point on my relationship with god was extremely, extremely fractured. I can only imagine how my life would have turned out if I never met this mentor and role model who was really just a wolf in sheep's clothing.
For thirty years I knew that there would be were others abused by mussa . Around October, 2014 I googled Brother Joe Mussa, as I would from time to time in my quest and belief that someday somewhere other victims would surface. I was vigilant . The container diaries would always come up in the past as it did this time. Container Diaries is a website created about Holy Name and the neighborhood. Container is reference to the to-go quart of Budweiser (container) that you can get at Farrells Bar. When i was growing up that's what the neighborhood centered around. Holy Name church/school and Farrells Bar. The posting about mussa was brief. Just people’s comments saying what a great teacher he was at Holy Name and how he would referee the basketball and football games in the school yard. Someone even made a comment at how good mussa was at picking out “at risk” kids. That pissed me off to see people praise him when I had these bad memories of him and all the things in a sexual nature that he did to me.
I have given mussa the chance to come clean with me. As far back as 1992 I have had encounters with the Catholic church and my desire to heal the wounds that this man has caused in my life, always to be denied and cast off as some degenerate who was looking for a payday. THAT WAS NEVER THE CASE!!! several times I went to the church and asked them for help with a crippling drug addiction. An addiction that I blame mostly on mussa. Now I know that I'm the one who, with my own hands picked up these drugs and with my own hand ingested these drugs. But the age that started doing these drugs at 13 years old, was a direct result of the sexual abuse that I received from mussa. Its as if i really had no choice at that time in my life. When I started getting high, right out of the gate I was off and running. At 13 I was smoking weed, snorting cocaine and drinking alcohol. And I was doing these things in excess. The drugs made me feel like someone else, a different person then the sexually abused boy that i was now protecting and safeguarding from the cruel world that I live in.……..
Along with “Container Diaries” another site popped up titled “Burn and Rot in Hell”. Googling mussa’s name brought me directly to this posting titled “ This St. Francis Prep Sexual Abuse Survivor Wants You to Know His Story.”
I read the story. His story was my own story.
After reading it, I cried like an 11 year old boy would cry. Tears flowing over my cheeks as if a faucet was somehow attached to my eyes. The absolute tremendous force of vindication and relief came over me. Over the last twenty years when I had first told someone what had actually happened to me up until that day that I read that posting on Burn and Rot in Hell, I was always waiting for some other victim of mussa’s to surface. Anytime there was anything about someone molesting some boy in a newspaper I would scan through the article looking for mussa’s name. TV news stories I would wait to hear his name. Waiting and waiting for someone to validate my claims of sexual abuse from a man , a man of God, that went around preying on the youth of our community.
Let me go back to eighth grade. Once my family moved and school had started I found myself gravitating towards the kids who were getting high using drugs. I also was hanging out with the older guys by way of the four guys who coached my Baseball team. For whatever reason these guys liked me and their friends liked me. So I would rotate between hanging out with the older guys and hanging out with the kids my own age. It was around this time that i was givin my nickname that i would go by for the next 10 years; ZIGGY.
Danny was now Ziggy and that's exactly how I wanted it. I was able to put aside the hurt confused boy and gain a false sense of self with Ziggy. Now I was this slick kid who would hang out with the older guys, do drugs go to bars, out to the Hamptons take road trips to rock concerts out of state. I hid Danny away . My last year at Holy Name I remember very few things about. That's probably because I wasn't there a lot. To this day I have no idea how I got away with all the time I took off from school. I would cut school a week or two weeks at a time. I would leave the house in the morning go up to Rayray and Mickey's house and ditch school with everyone else who was ditching or just didn't go to school all together. When I did return to school i would bring a note that I had written, but I would forge my mother's signature using one of her cancelled checks and a Light Bright machine.The Light Bright machine would allow me to trace my mother's signature using just the lighted surface so it became transparent enough to see through. And my teacher would take it and accept it as if it was a normal thing to do. At no time did the school notify my parents of all of my absences and at no time did they question the validity of my notes from home. I might speculate that they had some kind of idea of what was going on from those un-authorized counseling sessions i was dragged out of class to go to. I believe they could have helped me then, they had to have known something and they had to have made the decision not to do anything about it.
Again it's only speculation. So my eight year was spent ditching school and getting stoned and getting into all sorts of trouble. This all being the direct result of a relationship I had with a person who was suppose to protect me.
One of the reasons that i started hanging out with the older guys was because they protected me. These guys were all in their 20’s, and there were a lot of them. After a while ,I became their mascot for lack of a better word. I had keys to some of their apartments where i could come and go as I pleased.
The other reason I was hanging out with these guys was because they gave me drugs. They thought it was funny or cute to see this tiny little kid smoking weed or snorting cocaine. I could go on for pages of some of the crazy things these guys did. But what mattered most to me at that time was being protected so no one would touch me again. And having the ability to gain access to drugs that would make me feel normal for the most part and take all those memories out of my head. The older guys provided me with those things. And there were truly good guys in that group, guys who tried to direct me in the right direction. And try to steer me away from the guys who were feeding me hard narcotics, thing was that I wanted those stronger drugs. I needed them to feel normal. Cocaine was the “non addictive drug” when i was first starting to do it in 1980. At least that's what everyone was saying. Well we all know that's the furthest thing from the truth…...I spent my high school years like some sort of cool breeze kid. I was the one kid out of all the other kids in the neighborhood who the older guys liked and wanted me to hang out with them . School was just some inconvenience I had to deal with for eight hours everyday. I was such a bad student that even if i tried to apply myself I would just get frustrated and give up. Every year I managed to have to go to summer school for two classes every summer even the summer after I graduated. Now I went to Catholic high school, and I had no interest in what the brothers had to say ,. At that point i hated school. hated the whole institution . I was jaded. I couldn't see how important education was. How vital an education was. That's another thing mussa robbed from me. An education. Does this prick realize how much damage he has done all to satisfy some sick perversion? And the ones who protected him are just as culpable and responsible as he is. I even had to go to summer school AFTER I graduated. You can put that on the list as well. Robbed of every summer vacation from school.
After high school my Father got me a job as an ironworker. Dangerous job, yes. Well-paying job, yes. Did I keep the job, NO . My inability to to keep my mouth shut has cost me many jobs. My drug addiction has cost me many jobs, by the time I was 23 years old I had a very bad crack addiction. Whenever I feel threatened I get defensive right away. If I feel like someone is trying to get over on me or take advantage of me I feel the overwhelming need to stand up for myself and stop any transgressions.
My biggest regret in life was the job I lost that my father got me . I was in the local 3 electricians union apprenticeship program. Unfortunately I was ill prepared for the classroom aspect of the job. I picked up the on the job training pretty easily. But the classroom stuff I just could not do. I was crippled from my early school experiences. I was never a good student after the abuse from mussa. I had no faith in the Catholic school education. Me just coasting through my school years did not benefit me whatsoever. I had no studying skills no note taking skills and my attention span was that of a dog. I was so good at picking up my trade that my foreman while I was in the union gave me a job in his side company. His side business was the equivalent of a small business that someone would have. I was running jobs for him and I was barely able to hold it together because of my crack addiction. Again I would lose another job. But I learned my trade, and continued to learn it from guys with more experience than me. Tommy S., my coach from little league and my inductee into the older guys asked if I could take a look at some electrical work that his brother-in-law needed done at his business. At this time my addiction was full blown . I did have a tendency of cleaning up good. But I could only keep up that facade for so long, before it blew up in my face. Tommy's brother in law Marty G. caught me on my bounce back. I did some good work for him and he liked the work I did. With the work came money and money and me didn't last long . I was sleeping in the park before long and when Marty found out he took me into his home with his wife and newborn son.
Marty was the first person that I ever told about what mussa had done to me. Marty was a retired hero detective and is currently a politician. Marty looked out for me and a big way! He ended up putting me on touch with Father John Harvey, a Catholic priest . He had an office in a church on the West Side of Manhattan on 34th street. He was very old, very firm and on his game…..He said to me one of his jobs for the church was taking care of their dirty laundry . Outside and inside the church., he told me he counseled nuns who were raped or assaulted by priests. Priests who were having sex with anyone from a parishioner or another priest. Whatever it is it came across his desk. I was very intimidated by him. But i told him what mussa had done to me . And he became very angry and said he was going to make them pay for that. At that time I was drinking and drugging, mostly drugging at that time. I was ready for what would turn-out to be a tune-up (in and out of detox’/rehab).A chance to get off the street and clean up. Well Fr. Harvey told me he was going to have them send me to rehab. I thought that would be great, I wanted to stop. I always wanted to stop…...a few days later I found myself up at Graymore , a large piece of property that the Catholic church owns in Garrison, NY. They have a retirement community of nuns, brothers and priests. Several graveyards and several churches. They hold religious retreats there and there is St. Christophers Inn. At that time strictly a 19 day men's shelter and you could not have drugs in your system, the do urine test when you get there. Alcohol abuse only. No druggies allowed.
Unbeknownst to me until I arrived, it's run by Franciscan friars. The last place I wanted to be was around these men in brown robes wearing sandles. I didn't trust them: case in point. The guy who did my intake was a rather large friar Tuck fella. He got extremely close to me by rolling his chair right up to mine, our faces an inch apart and asked me “when your father's penis entered your mother's vagina would you ever have thought that you would have turned out the the way you did?” First off the question makes no sense whatsoever. I couldn’t counsel with myself at my conception. I believe he just said it to get his rocks off. That was what I concluded immediately after backing away from him.
After the 19 days they may “select” you to go to St. Joseph's rehab upstate by the Canadian border, also run by the Franciscan friars. I was having no part of it. Besides they knew about my allegations and were definitely giving me the cold shoulder at Graymore. I did the 19 day stay (tune-up) and went right back to the streets.
About this time I was offered a one way Greyhound ticket to Florida. Hurricane Andrew just destroyed southern Fla. So there was plenty of work for me there. So I traded in the grimy streets of Brooklyn for the white sands of Florida….Not such a good idea if you got a cocaine problem that you're trying to fix. Long story short. I ended up being sentenced to 3 years in a state penitentiary. After 18 months I was released and left Florida immediately.
Back to Brooklyn, back in the life. Many failed attempt at cleaning up. Joined the Navy only to be entry leveled discharged because of the level of drugs that were in my system. I also spent a year in Sunny California pretty much working for my Uncle Mike and staying with him and his wife and two little cousins. Mike was an amazing carpenter who made these beautiful door entries and bay windows by milling trees delivered off of trucks. Oh and we smoked a lot of pot. I was on the marijuana maintenance program. I wasn't smoking crack because i had no idea where to get it. I was living in Moreno Valley…..the armpit of America. Shit I was in Cali and i was living in the desert. After 9 months with uncle Mike I hit the road and headed for the golden sands of Newport Beach working for an electrician who had a lot of famous clientele. I am notorious for cleaning up my act (I cleaned up good) . Get a good job…….do real good at that job. Then destroy it by getting high and not going to work. And I would play this out time and time again. My employer would always take me back , give me multiple chance’s til they just couldn't any more . Six months later I was back in brooklyn sleeping on friends’ couches until they were missing something and I was either gone or asked to leave. Drug addicts will rob you then help you look for whatever they robbed. A year later I would end up back in California for the next 7 years.
Again , for all the time I spent out in California , I would repeat the cycle of being completely destitute eating in soup lines and kitchens. Using drugs, unemployed to going in a program for a tune up getting my shit together to get a place of my own a good job only to repeat the cycle of starting to use drugs to losing everything. Repeat over and over. My inability to keep a job or apartment was due completely to my addiction . My way of punishing myself stuck in a cycle of insanity. I lived up and down the coast of California. San Francisco , Los Angeles, San Diego . I was always running away from myself. My life consumed by low self esteem and self doubt caused by a childhood of being a prisoner of my own self. Ziggy it turns out , was a manipulating drug addict who would do just about anything to get his next hit. People who reached out to help would only have their hand slapped because I was not ready to stop. The messages that I received in my relationship with mussa has had a tremendous effect on the person I had become. Anywhere I turned to find help as far as being a survivor of sexual abuse was met with inexperience. Any counselor I went to in all of the rehab’s I've been in all would respond with answers that would minimize the trauma I experienced. Or some even attempted to make excuses for Mussa. On my second go at Graymore in 2002 , at this time St. Christophers inn had developed into thriving drug and alcohol rehab, my counselor, who was a priest in the Franciscan order . Fr. Jim actually told me that he believes mussa was just trying to relate to me, trying to relive his childhood, because more than likely he was abused as a boy. ……...So get this mussa was trying to play with me as if he was at my age because his childhood was most likely traumatized by some sort of sexual abuse by someone else…...well …...I have no tolerance for the abused to become the abuser. No way in hell would I ever put a innocent child into such a dark and isolated place . Why would someone, if sexually abused want to inject that horror on to someone else, let alone be a serial molester like I believe mussa is. To put dozens of people through that turmoil , send them off into a world of self hatred and doubt. A world of drug addiction and alcoholism.
I found a book titled “Victims No Longer” by Mike Lew ,it's a book on child sexual abuse and surviving such an ordeal and the cause and effects of that abuse.That book gave me a lot of insight on my situation, the way I think and the things I have done to survive in my life that I carry with me every day. There was a section in the book that spoke of confronting your abuser and finding some healing and closure…...way overrated. Confronting my abuser made things far worse than ever. Now i'm sure there may be some psychobabble bullshit that i was not emotionally prepared for such a confrontation, but frankly I was at the end of my rope. I was in search of help for many years and I was desperate for a solution. My needs were minimized in AA & NA, People would say shit like “ you need to get over it” or “that shit happens to everyone” to the granddaddy of them all “what does that have to do with your drug problem” ….all actually quotes from people in those programs said to me. I needed, as suggested in those programs’ literature, “outside help” and the professionals that I sought out weren't schooled on my plight and I sensed their inexperience on the subject. Or they were more concerned with the method of payment than anything at all I had to say.
So I took it upon myself to fix myself. I contacted the Head of the Franciscan order in Brooklyn from my tiny apartment in San Clemente , California . On the other end of the line I was received with resistance and attitude by Brother Thomas Grady. I told him about mussa molesting me while I was a young boy and the devastating effect that had on my life. He became very rude to me and started to, what seemed like , interrogate me on the reasoning and purpose for these allegations. Now you must remember, sexual abuse in the church was still at a whisper at this time. People who went to church didn't want to hear it and people who ran the church adamantly DENIED IT !!! So you can imagine what kind of predicament I was in and how much a pioneer I was in coming forward with no desire to be said pioneer. I told Grady I wasn't looking for anything but closure by this meeting I was trying to have with mussa and grady treated me so badly and had a attitude toward me like I was the predator instead of the victim I truly was. So Grady reluctantly said he would set the meeting up for me at the time I would be home for Christmas There were two stipulations, first Grady wanted me to go see a psychiatrist in Los Angeles. One that he would arrange and choose. I’m guessing he wanted to be sure i was a stable enough person with no bad intent. Not really sure what his reasoning was for me to be evaluated, whatever it was that he was or wasn't looking for, he was satisfied enough with the feedback from the shrink and I was given the ok to have my meeting with mussa. The second stipulation was when i addressed mussa with my accusations i was to begin each claim I had against him with …..Get this now…..”AS I REMEMBER IT”.....so for example…..” As I remember it you put your hands down my pants while I was a passenger sitting next to you in your car “ …...or “As I remember it, you molested me in front of 1700 people at the KISS concert and got away with it”. I agreed to this all the while knowing I was not going to follow such ridiculous ground rules.
So that Christmas I went to the Franciscan friars headquarters on Remsen street in downtown Brooklyn. I brought my younger sister with me, Eileen, who at the time was a school teacher. I remember the days leading up to the meeting having a lot of anxiety and being very nervous. The day of the meeting Eileen and I were standing around the corner from the Franciscans’ building . I was smoking a cigarette to kill some time and prepare myself mentally to what I was about to do. While we were standing there out of the corner of my eye , mussa walks right by us. Eileen's back was to him so she didn't see him. But i most certainly did. It had been over 20 years since I have seen this man who put my life into such turmoil and confusion. All the worry and reservations that I had in my mind about seeing him had immediately dissipated and left me . I turned to Eileen and said to her “this is going to be a piece of cake, he just walked by us.” We watched as he walked ahead of us towards the Friar multi-million dollar Brownstone on Remsen st. in the exclusive neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. Some vow of poverty, wouldn't you say? Coincidentally that's also mussa’s current address. Eileen and I followed shortly behind him.
A few days earlier just after i arrived home , I went to see Grady. I have not met him up to this point, we talked over the phone and when we did speak he wasn't very nice to me to me, and meeting him in person wasn't any different.. He wanted to see me to go over his ground rules and how this meeting was going to be done.
The meeting was a waste of everyone's time . We were greeted at the reception desk by Grady and i had introduced my sister Eileen who I told him I wanted her to be with me for moral support and the fact that she is an educator herself.
We entered a small room with four chairs of which one was occupied by mussa. For the first time in as many years I finally was able to look this man in the eyes and tell him what he did to me and what effect it has had on my life.. …….I spoke of specific events when he molested me , driving his car , the KISS concert, the sex education class we had inside his car while parked in Holy Name school yard. Told him how he molested me in dark movie theaters. The slow reaching over to put his hand on my knee and working his way up to my crotch and forcing his hand into my pants by aggressively pulling down my zipper to gain access to my private area. I told him how fucked up that made me feel and how fucked up my life was due to the abuse that I suffered.
mussa looked at me and told me that he was very sorry that I have these memories but as far as he is concerned that never happened what we had was good times together we horsed around went to the movies went to concerts and the Baseball Hall of Fame but never did he ever put his hands on me. I replied to mussa and said that I understand that he's lying because his boss is sitting right next to him, but he knows exactly what he had done to me at that point my younger sister Eileen spoke up and told musa that as far as she's concerned, as an educator and a school teacher what he did is one of the most cruelest things someone can do to a child. When your trusted to nurture and protect someone only to destroy a child's life that he should be totally ashamed of himself. Again he acted as if we were totally out of our minds on what we accusing him of doing. Eileen and I just got up and left I didn't thank anybody, there was nobody to thank. I was not treated fairly by Brother Grady and even worse by mussa. Afterward I followed up with Grady and he told me that it was humanly impossible for mussa to do what I said and done to me. I was scolded for making them take him out of school from his classes and his coaching and putting him into a therapeutic environment for a few weeks for evaluation.
Then they came to the conclusion that he just couldn't do this to anybody that was what I was told so here I was 20 years after the fact of being molested and I was being victimized again . I had nothing better to do on my Christmas trip back home then set-up and execute this meeting with these men. The hell with the Rockettes and the Christmas show, I wanted to falsely accuse mussa of violating me 20 + years earlier for my Christmas trip to NYC. The friars did however offer to pay for partial of any counseling or therapy. They offered me something like paying 30% of the cost, which to me at that time was worth nothing to me, I had no money to spend on therapy. But their offer of paying for some portion of therapy told me there that they felt my story had some truth to it, or they wouldn't have made that offer to me. So I was sent out the doors to continue of life of drug abuse for the next 10-15 years and which I guess they would hope I would just die from it and go away. But those days are over. And I always knew someday somewhere that someone else would come forward with a similar story as me. Everything I always read about lowlifes that prey on innocent children don’t do it just one time. I even went to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and filed a complaint on him. Even though the statute of limitations had run out, which I believe to be a bunch of bullshit especially when it comes to crimes against children. How was I supposed to get justice and come forward when the whole foundation of the abuse is based on shame and guilt. How do the lawmakers come to the conclusion that a child or an adolescent or a young adult can make such a decision to speak up about the abuse when there is nothing but shame and guilt associated with it all . Even to this day I still have to be very selective to who I tell this story to. Or if I badmouth the church to some old church lady who never misses a Sunday mass, people are so blind and in denial when it comes to these men. And the denial and the legal system is what keeps these men preying and not praying . After I googled his name about a year ago and the posting came up on Burn and Rot in Hell, I was sent into an emotional reaction both happy and very sad. FINALLY , its been 30 years since I've been waiting for someone else to come forward with same story that I had. I cried for an hour then I called my sister, and I called up my parents finally I've had some vindication .
With this new information I actually thought the cat was out of the bag. mussa, from what I read in that posting, had finally admitted to these transgressions, the posting even said that mussa and the Franciscans even gave this guy checks. And he stated he had the cancel checks to prove it. The story was identical to mine, i just replaced hockey games with baseball hall of fame and movies . And I could also tell from the dates given in the account that I was a victim before him and also I could tell from the dates that I reported it before he did.
I had a lot of emotions dealing with this information. I was angry that, knowing I existed and had made similar claims , I was never notified by anyone to try and help me. I was angry about the money, and I was especially angry about how i was accused of wrongdoing and malicious intent when I sought help from these Christian men. So I decided to have another confrontation with mussa and I reached out to the current head of the order .This time I was treated more kindly and more with the atmosphere of understanding. I didn't have to jump through hoops to get to talk to mussa. I explained to Brother William Boslet the Superior General at the time of my past history with the order, how me and my sister had a meeting with mussa many years earlier and how dissatisfied and disappointed I was with the way I was treated and handled.
Bro. William had me come in first for a meeting with him. So I went to Remsen street to meet with him and he had another Brother, I forgot his name but I'm assuming it's some kind of legal person to sit in our meeting. And again for the God knows how many time, I told the story of me and brother joe mussa. From the look on both of their faces throughout the telling of my story told me he knew that mussa was a pedophile, and what i was saying he did to me as a child was true.
Brother William then informed me that mussa did not want to meet with me. That made me very angry. I was looking at this from a totally different angle. I actually thought that this man was willing to allow me to heal. I thought that because of the posting on Burn and Rot in Hell that he would of course be willing to meet with me and we would have a spirit of forgiveness. That healing would begin and we could get on with our lives.
I told Bro. William that that was bullshit, I said to him that he was his superior and he should tell mussa there is no option. He must take a meeting with me. .
A phone call from Bro. William a few days later informed me the meeting was on. Shortly there after there we were again in the same building the same office and for the most part the same people . Hence Brother William and his associate. It was mussa , my sister Eileen and myself. I sat directly from mussa and looked him squarely in the eyes. I had before me not this image of a man I looked at as a hero and role model that I had instilled in me from my days before the molestation . Nor did I have the man I was so fearful of telling no to and unable to muster courage to make him stop touching me. No,I had before me an aging overweight sad looking man. Somewhat hunched over as if the weight of the world was on him. And that is what I wish on him. That the guilt would crush him over the years. I don't know.
I took from my pocket a copy of the posting about him. I read it out loud for everyone in the room to hear and as much as I could, I kept direct eye contact with mussa. When I finished reading the blog posting, I turned to brother William and told him that the story I read was identical to my story about my relationship with mussa. I then faced mussa and went over again, specifics of what he had done to me. I told him how he affected my life and how it still affects me today. and to my total disbelief he fucking denied doing anything to me. He remembered the trip to the Baseball hall of fame and he remembered hanging out with me at the mall, the movies and Burger King. Then he mentioned the Kiss concert. I just finished moments ago explaining the vivid memory of the guy standing in front of us watching him trying to get in my pants while I sat on his shoulders. mussa then did something that I found very telling. He raised his hands above his head and said he was not quite sure how he could have gotten into my pants while sitting on his shoulders. He wiggled his hands around and mimicked the molesting attempt. In my eyes it was a bizarre thing to do and it only served to make him look guilty. It was akin to OJ trying on the bloody gloves half-heartedly while making it look as if he was struggling to get them on. And that dumb look on his face. mussa had the same look on his pathetic face as well. He again denied me any closure or healing. The man who dedicated his life to helping mankind and to assist the suffering and helpless with love and understanding. A man who glorifies the lord in all he does, that's right , IN ALL HE DOES. A man who vowed to give service to the people of God. He is suppose to help heal the wounded, to bind up those who are bruised and to reclaim the erring. That's from the mission statement of the order of the Franciscan friars. I HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH SUCH BEHAVIORS. At this time I knew i was talking to a psycopath. I was again getting nowhere with this man or his colleagues. I looked this shell of the man I knew right into his eyes and asked “Have you ever molested a child before” he said “NO”. Eileen chimed in and basically told him what a vile human he is to not acknowledge my pain and allow me closure. We got out of our seats and we left. Revictimized again by the men in robes pretending to be what they are not."
That's the last time Danny spoke with the Franciscans. He was offered nothing, not even an apology, for a lifetime of hurt. How do you look in the mirror, Bill Boslet? Are you proud of who you are? Do you wake up in the morning and tell yourself that you are a good man and that you have done the right thing by Danny?
The movie Spotlight was released last week. Spotlight is the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the Boston Archdiocese.*Please pardon any formatting errors, there seems to be a glitch.
I can't wait to see it.
I can't wait to see it.