BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — A woman is coming forward with sexual abuse allegations against a former Bridgeport priest.
“Jane Doe” said Fr. George Maslar sexually abused her twice in his car in 1971 when she was around 15 years old.
“I never envisioned myself doing this,” the woman said during a press conference Wednesday. “I was too afraid. I felt ashamed as if it was my fault. Thinking about it made me physically sick.”
She said she met Maslar when both attended prayer meetings at the Cathedral of Saint Augustine in Bridgeport.
Last year, “Jane Doe” reached a five-figure settlement, even though the statute of limitations had expired. She’s calling for it to be extended.
“The legislature needs to understand it’s more the norm to say nothing for years because you blame yourself rather than to come forward sooner,” she said.”
“Jane Doe” said she hopes her speaking out encourages other victims to come forward.
The Diocese of Bridgeport said it has a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and applauded her willingness to come forward and share her story.
“It is important to note that when the Diocese first became aware of the allegations in November 2017, it immediately reported them to the Connecticut State Department of Children and Family, Child Abuse and Neglect Careline, consistent with state law and diocesan policies. At that time, the Diocese also alerted the Franciscan order,” the Diocese of Bridgeport said in a statement.
Maslar died in December.
To report the abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult or an incident of child pornography in the Diocese of Bridgeport involving any person from the church, call the Connecticut State Department of Children and Family at 1-800-842-2288 and Erin Neil, L.C.S.W. at 203-650-3265 or Michael Tintrup L.C.S.W. at 203-241-0987. You may also contact a third-party reporting hotline or call 833-990-0004, or fill out a written report of abuse or neglect online.