Catholic priest suspended for allegedly raping American woman
The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh in the United States has suspended Nigerian priest Cyprian Duru from ministering, after accusation of rape and legal action by a 68-year-old retired English teacher, Kathy Coll.
In addition, he has been banned from presenting himself as a priest or wearing clerical garb.
According to CBS Television, Coll, in a legal suit, detailed how Duru stopped by her home in December 2016 on the pretence of giving her a Christmas card and allegedly raped her.
Coll claimed that when she offered him a cold drink, he followed her to her family room, overpowered her and assaulted her as she screamed for him to stop.
Since then, Coll claimed she has been trying to seek healing from the trauma of rape; adding that the shame, anxiety and depression were daunting.
“The hardest part was telling my pastor, who sat and cried with me and then notified the diocese,” Coll recalled.
Last week, she filed a suit against the St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church, the Pittsburgh diocese, and Bishop David Zubik.
Coll maintained that she was disappointed that District Attorney Stephen Zappala’s office said prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence to pursue charges.
But the retired high school English teacher said her biggest disappointment was learning that a church she continues to love and turned to for help had scant resources for abused women.
“There were visits by the (Pittsburgh) Diocese Trauma Team to my house offering prayer and help to find a therapist. But I found out they really don’t have anything for women who have been abused,” Coll said.
Coll said a therapist the diocese recommended within minutes of meeting her declared that she was depressed, anxious and suffering from PTSD.
“He said, ‘We’ll get you on medication and four or five sessions here, and you’ll be on your way.’ I walked out of there after 20 minutes and never went back,” she said.
Eventually, she found a therapist who helped her marshal her strength.
As she regained her footing in the world, the widowed mother of two adult sons resolved to doing something to help others.