April 07, 2005

Suit alleges 1954-68 convent abuse

Arizona Daily Star

By Alexis Huicochea

A 52-year-old woman filed a lawsuit against Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Wednesday alleging numerous incidents of physical abuse, sexual abuse and illegal restraint.

The alleged incidents took place between 1954 and 1968, the lawsuit said.

Mary Ann Shelton, who know lives in Illinois, was placed at the Tucson convent in 1954 by her mother as a way to ease financial burden, the lawsuit said.

Her mother hoped that Shelton, then Mary Ann Mallas, would have a religious and moral upbringing, and get an education, the lawsuit said. However, she became an "indentured servant," her attorney, Ivan Abrams, said in a telephone interview. "She was a cleaning servant and a sex slave," he said. "She was chained and held in a hidden room."

Posted by kshaw at April 7, 2005 10:47 AM