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Lawsuit claims Hawaii priests sexually assaulted Kailua boy

By Paula Akana
Published On: Aug 24 2012 09:34:45 AM HST

A former Hawaii resident has filed suit under a new law claiming he was sexually assaulted by two Hawaii priests.

HONOLULU -

A former Hawaii resident has come forward claiming he was sexually assaulted by two Hawaii priests.

48-year-old Mark Pinkosh is one of two people to file a lawsuit due to a new law.  He hopes by putting a face to the allegations, more victims will come forward.

Pinkosh grew up in Kailua and said St. Anthony church was their family haven.  It is also where he claims to have been sexually abused by the late Father Joseph Henry.

"When I was about 8 or 9 years old Father Henry raped me.  It was very violent and very intense," said Pinkosh.  "As an elementary school fourth grader, it was difficult to process that kind of stuff."

Pinkosh filed this suit in June against several entities, including the Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii.

In his suit, Pinkosh said he told two other priests about the abuse and was told not to tell anyone.  He says nothing was done.

Pinkosh said he believed things were different when Father Joseph Ferrario arrived at the church and befriended the youngster.

"I told him about the about the abuse that took place.  He counseled me it was a secret that I should not tell anybody.  He proceeded to rape me as well," said Pinkosh.

Pinkosh said abuse continued for another year and a half until he got confirmed and severed his ties with the church.

This year, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law a bill giving adults who were victims of sex abuse as a child a two-year window to file a civil claim.  Pinkosh at first filed anonymously, but said he felt by putting a face to the issue it may give other victims the courage to come forward.

"By taking action and by standing up and finding the voice and knowing that they're bringing some help and hope and protection to others is a giant step in healing," said Jeff Anderson, Pinkosh's attorney.

The Roman Catholic Diocese said it cannot comment on the lawsuit because it has not yet been served the papers.

Father Joseph Henry died in 1974.  Father Joseph Ferrario later became Bishop Joseph Ferrario.  He retired in 1993 and died in 2003.

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