Thomas Roberts has been a Headline News anchor since 2001 for CNN. He recently admitted to being sexually abused at the age of 14 by his Catholic Priest, Father Jeff Toohey.
Father Jeff Toohey was someone he considered his mentor at the private all boys Catholic school. He said the abuse went on for 3 years.
He said he was sent to the school, to Father Toohey, to help him cope with his parents divorce. He said his family fell apart and so did his school life.
He said I felt trapped. My parents would be horrified to know their failure at marriage put their son at risk to be sexually abused and that the man abusing me was the high school chaplain and beloved priest.
He felt shame, embarrassment. Felt no one would believe him. Felt if he told he would be expelled. He admits about a month after the abuse started, he attempted suicide. He hoped to just die and fade away. His sister found him and saved his life.
His parents called on the Father to help their son. The Father, who was the cause of him wanting to die, told him he has so much to live for.
The abuse continued and he just became numb to it like so many others who have gone through abuse at the hands of others.
Father Jeff was accused of sexually abusing another child, Michael Goles when Thomas was in college. Thomas knew he should come forward and tell what happened to him, but he didn't. Father Jeff's case was thrown out of court because Michael Goles was not believed.
It took Thomas 20 years to get the strength to confront what happened to him. He told his family, he reported it to the archdiocese and he called Michael and told him he believed him because he too was a victim of Father Jeff's.
The two of them went to the police and Father Jeff was charged with 10 criminal counts of child sexual abuse in relation to just Thomas's case.
Father Jeff admitted to it with a plea agreement and was sentenced to 5 years in prison. He was out after serving just 10 months.
He said he finally came forward and told because he hopes that if his story compels even one person to seek help for being sexually abused, then it is all worth it. All it takes is telling one person. From there, strength grows and you can tell a second person and so on. Then you can finally have control of your life back.
This took a lot of strength to do. No one knows how hard it is to come forward and tell what was done to you or being done to you. You feel it is your fault. You feel alone. And I hope that his story will help others to come forward and not feel alone. That those abusing children will be caught and jailed.
I feel that Father Jeff should have done the entire 5 years in prison. That even the 5 years is not enough. Those children looked to him for guidance. They did not ask to be abused. Out after just serving 10 months is not enough.
In the words of his mother, on the video, Father Jeff will burn in hell.
The video can be seen on the link.