May 20, 2005

Abuse Victim, Boise Catholic Diocese Strive For Settlement


By Scott Logan

TJ Hopper of Caldwell says his long nightmare started in 1976 at St. Paul's Catholic Center in Boise.

"I was sexually molested by a priest at St. Paul's Catholic Center from about the time I was 10 years old on," Hopper told Local 2 News.

Hopper, now 40,says that priest was Father Jim Worsley, a family friend, and he says the abuse lasted four years on weekends and vacation visits and included threats.

"He'd say: 'You know your parents will go to jail unless you do what I tell you to do,'" Hopper said. "Well, as a 10 year old, a kid, you don't know better. Of course, now I know that was absurd."

Hopper says he reacted by blocking the abuse from his memory. But in 1992, he says it all came back in a flood of emotions.

Hopper says he drove to the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, thought about jumping, but instead went to the Monastery of the Ascension near Jerome, seeking refuge.

"And I went inside and proceed for about 24 hours to hit myself, yell and scream, and bounce my head off the walls," he said.

Hopper told the Boise Diocese and the Church says Worsely admitted to the abuse.

Posted by kshaw at May 20, 2005 05:50 AM