April 07, 2005

Women sues convent for alleged abuse decades ago


Associated Press
Apr. 7, 2005 08:15 AM

TUCSON - A 52-year-old Illinois woman has filed a lawsuit against a Tucson convent alleging that she was held captive and physically and sexually abused more than a half-century ago.

Mary Ann Shelton was placed at the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary convent in 1954 by her mother as a way to ease financial burden, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Pima County Superior Court.

However, she became an "indentured servant," her attorney, Ivan Abrams, said in a telephone interview with the Arizona Daily Star. advertisement

"She was a cleaning servant and a sex slave," he said. "She was chained and held in a hidden room."

In the lawsuit, Shelton says she was raped, sodomized, repeatedly beat, psychologically abused and deprived of food and water.

The lawsuit said that when Shelton's mother removed her from the order's custody in 1968, she did not reveal the abuse out of religious fear.

Posted by kshaw at April 7, 2005 10:32 AM