October 04, 2005

Haunted by Carol Ann Dougherty's murder

Bucks County Courier Times

J.D. Mullane

The sexual abuse Joan McCrane endured from Father Joseph Sabadish began, she said, innocently. "Tickling," she said. "He'd put his hands on my shoulders. Then, on my chest. Then, down my pants."

It was 1960. She was 7.

Sabadish, in his early 40s at the time, was a priest stationed at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Levittown, where McCrane attended grade school.

"He told me that it was our secret and that I was never to tell anyone or we'd both go to Hell. I never said anything because I was a little girl and I was scared to death," she recalled.

Her younger brother, Bill Nelis, said Sabadish molested him, too, beginning when he was 10. The abuse ended when he hit puberty.

"Sabadish said this is how he showed his love for me," Nelis recalled, his voice curdling into disgust. "He'd always give me candy. The glove compartment of his car was always filled with it. He'd tell me candy fairies had put it there."

Posted by kshaw at October 4, 2005 07:56 AM